WASHINGTON - The Secret Service said the investigation into who hacked into D.C.'s security cameras before the inauguration of President Donald Trump has gone global.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office confirmed two people were arrested in London in connection to the cyberattack on 123 of the District's 187 cameras. Officials said ransomware – malicious software that requires a ransom payment to get rid of it – was used, but no money was paid to the culprits.
Whether this was just about money or part of a bigger security threat is part of the Secret Service’s investigation that is now underway.
"I believe that the people who are responsible were looking to cause disruption of some type, but I really can't get into any other details at this time," said Brian Ebert, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office for the Secret Service.
Ebert would not talk about the London arrests. Those suspects have not been named and are reportedly out on bond.
"The Secret Service continues to pursue, aggressively, several leads in this case," Ebert said. "It's an investigation that will take us wherever around the world that it needs to for us to identify an upper hand on those criminals responsible."
The hack was discovered about a week before the inauguration. After it was found, cameras were taken offline for at least two days.
"Working with the city, we were able to quickly mitigate any potential threats and get those cameras back up online and operational very quickly," said Ebert.
He said people may be unaware of the Secret Service's role in combating cybercrimes. The agency can even help individuals or small businesses that fall victim.
"In addition to our protective mission, we have our investigative mission where we work to combat counterfeit currency, credit card fraud, check fraud and all sorts of cybercrimes," Ebert said. "So I think it's good for people to know that the Secret Service is engaged in both those missions."
FOX 5 asked Mayor Bowser's office what has been done to prevent another hack into the camera system. An on-camera interview was refused, but this statement provided:
“Cyber threats are the new reality for all governments, and what people want to know is that were an incident to occur are we prepared to detect and respond. This incident demonstrates the District was ready to respond quickly, as we detected the breach and moved within a matter of days to restore our system.”