Romanians suspected of hacking DC police cams before Inauguration

There's a legal battle brewing between the federal government and a pair of alleged hackers in Romania.And DC police is right in the middle of it.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The U.S. government filed a criminal complaint against a pair of Romanians earlier this month, for allegedly hacking more than 100 DC police surveillance cameras in January, just a week before Inauguration Day. 

According to court documents obtained by CNN, the duo shut down 123 cameras, 65 percent of the total surveillance cameras in the city, for four days, in part of an extortion scheme. The documents named Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru as the suspects. 

RELATED: Report: Hackers accessed DC camera system

Special Agent James Graham, of the US Secret Service, wrote the affidavit, and said the hackers used "Malicious computer code to lock up the cameras to try to extort money from the city. They also used a police computer to send out Ransomware through spam emails.

Rebekah Lewis, Director of the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center, at American University, said these attacks are part of the new reality. 

"It's just not possible," she said. "To thwart every possible attack." 

Lewis said this type of hacking is fairly common, and can be done to gain control of a lot more than just cameras. 

"Any device that's connected to the internet," she said. "Or frankly that could be connected to the Internet is susceptible to being exploited in some manner."

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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