After a cyber attack on the administration: data of Ukrainian refugees on the dark web

After unsuccessful ransom demands, a ransomware group published data on census refusers and Ukrainian refugees, among other things.

The city administration in Rhineland-Palatinate has been out of action since the end of October. (Image: City Administration of Rhineland-Palatinate)

A criminal gang has paralyzed the district administration of the Rhine-Palatinate district and copied numerous data. These have now been uploaded to the Darknet because the district administration has not complied with the ransom demand, as district administrator Clemens Körner (CDU) announced, according to SWR. Criminal investigations are currently underway against the cyber criminals who call themselves the Ransomware Vice Society. Among the stolen information are data from 54 census refusers as well as names, addresses, and dates of birth of Ukrainian refugees who were housed in the district.

Data released by the ransomware gang (Image: Ransomware Vice Society)

The district administration is currently in contact with all the authorities involved and the police. We want to take appropriate action as soon as possible. The website of the district administration was not fully accessible again on Friday evening. The district administration has compiled information about the incident on a temporary page and explains there that the administration cannot be reached by telephone or e-mail. In the meantime, citizens can report their concerns to the district administration via a simple web form. It is also possible, for example, to visit the district administration in person or to use the citizen telephone number 115.

Since paying a ransom is often accompanied by making even higher demands, experts advise against it. “According to the current state of the art” one meets a high safety standard. There is no such thing as 100 percent security, as Körner reports. It could happen to anyone. According to SWR, all 600 administration computers are affected.

Despite extensive security measures, the cyber attack occurred, as the State Criminal Police Office confirmed. Körner addressed the population in an open letter last week. According to Körner, the hacker group is “a highly professional and organized group that has turned cyber attacks into a real business model.”

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