A ransomware attack that hacked the police department in the nation's capital included leaked internal law enforcement training on Antifa's ideology and tactics.
Last week, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC, suffered an enormous data leak of internal information, amounting to an enormous 250GB trove of private files, after refusing to meet the blackmail demands of Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate Babuk.
The ransomware gang had published extensive profiles of 22 officers Tuesday as part of an extortion attempt. The files on current and former police officers are in-depth and include personal information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, results of psychological assessments, copies of driver's licenses, fingerprints, polygraph test results, as well as residential, financial and marriage history.
In the training memo, MPD officials described Antifa as "a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist groups in the United States," noting that the "principal feature" of Antifa groups is the usage of "direct action."
Authorities recognized that Antifa engages in varied protest to riot-related tactics, including "digital activism, property damage, physical violence, and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right."
Antifa tends to be anti-capitalist, the memo states, and are militant far-leftists, such as anarchists, communists, and socialists. The group's self-described focus is on "fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means," the internal data explains.
"This group by far is the most violent we have dealt with over the years," the MPD maintained. "As you all are aware during the Inauguration of President Trump this was the group that destroyed property, assaulted any Trump supporter they ran into includ[ing] the elderly. They have no moral compass on who they go after."
At the 2017 riot on the inauguration of former President Donald Trump, a limousine was lit ablaze, multiple vehicles were also set on fire, and black-clad activists among hundreds of demonstrators clashed with law enforcement several blocks away from the White House. Rocks and bottles were launched at cops dressed in riot gear, in which six local officers were reported injured by rioters.
Rioters dragged garbage cans into the streets near Pennsylvania Avenue which also became sites of arson. Numerous storefronts were defaced, causing tens of thousands of dollars in property damage.
Agitators used chunks of pavement and baseball bats to shatter the glass windows of several businesses downtown, including one of the Bank of America branches and one of the McDonald's locations—all symbols of American capitalism.
The key conclusion made by the internal MPD training material on Antifa points out that if you do not believe in what Antifa believes in, you are nothing more than "a target of violence" to the violent extremist organization.
"Whoever compiled the report understands the most important things about [A]ntifa," commented The Post Millennial's editor-at-large Andy Ngo.
Ngo, who quoted the material rather than uploaded screenshots, reported that the MPD also provided various law enforcement strategies to counter Antifa. However the countermeasures may be too sensitive to further circulate online.
A person of interest has since been pinpointed in reference to the reposting of MPD's hacked data across social media platforms. MPD tweeted the suspect's photo Monday, asking anyone with information to call (202) 727-9099.
The police department was first hacked in April. The ransomware organization then claimed responsibility and later published profiles of five officers. The leak was taken offline as the group entered negotiations with the MPD.
The discussion appeared to have fallen through. According to an alleged correspondence with the MPD that the hackers published Tuesday, the gang demanded $4 million to not publish more stolen files. The department responded with an offer of $100,000, noting that spending is controlled. The hackers responded that the counteroffer was "unacceptable," NBC News reported.
Experts say the incident is the worst known ransomware attack to ever target an American police department, the Associated Press reported. Babuk had released thousands of MPD's documents on the dark web Thursday. Hundreds of police officer disciplinary files and intelligence reports are alleged to include feeds from other agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secret Service.
A similar cyber attack last week shut down the Colonial Pipeline, the country's largest fuel pipeline, which carries gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast northward along the East Coast to New York City. The event prompted gas shortages and panic-buying in parts of the Southeast. Federal officials suspect that Russia-based criminal enterprise known as DarkSide is responsible.