Two of the five unnamed individuals cuffed this month in Romania on suspicion of spreading ransomware face US computer crime charges – for their alleged role in taking over 123 out of 187 networked computers that control Washington DC’s CCTV cameras earlier this year. According to Europol, which led the arrests, this week, two of those arrested are suspected of attacking American computer systems using the Cerber ransomware.

The Euro plod noted that the US Secret Service is also investigating those malware infections. In an affidavit obtained by CNN – unsealed by mistake and then resealed – Secret Service agent James Graham laid out the basis for the US Department of Justice’s computer fraud case against two Romanian nationals, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru.

In an email to The Register, a justice department spokesperson confirmed the linkage of the arrests and the US court filing. “These are separate but related investigations and the people you name are among those arrested by Europol,” the spokesperson said.

“Any court documents are not publicly available.” In other words, the Isvanca and Cismaru nabbed in Romania by police as suspected Cerber ransomware extortionists are the Isvanca and Cismaru accused in the US of attacking the American capital’s CCTV camera system.

Graham described how around January 9, 2017, and January 12, 2017, the pair, as part of an alleged ransomware scheme, took control of the networked Windows computers used by the Washington DC Metropolitan Police to run their traffic cameras. On January 12, having recognized that some of the cameras were offline, DC police IT staff and a Secret Service agent used Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) software to connect to one of the servers controlling the cameras. Read more from…

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