NEW JERSEY — The Camden County Police Department suffered a ransomware attack that shut down numerous criminal investigation files and day-to-day internal management capabilities, multiple law enforcement officials said.
Researchers said the attack began in mid-March and technicians were still working to try to get all systems working again.
A police spokesperson confirmed the cyber intrusion, but stressed that the ransomware attack did not affect 911 call systems or other public safety responses.
CCPD spokesman Dan Keashen said the malware first hit the department about three weeks ago.
“The agency is operational and has not experienced any outages or disruptions to its public safety response services for the Camden City community,” Keashen said.
The FBI, the NJ State Office of Homeland Security and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office have been notified of the incident and are participating in the investigation, multiple officials said.
Sources familiar with the matter said the hackers were demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars to unlock the files as a result of the malware. Keashen declined to comment on which group might be behind the incident or how much money was being requested.
Sources briefed on the matter said electronic police files were among those blocked and inaccessible, delaying some investigations. An official said about 80-85% of the archives have already been reopened. Keashen said the department is “working with information technology and law enforcement professionals to ensure no threats remain on our network.”
A law enforcement source said investigators are investigating whether the incident began after a police department employee opened a personal email that was malware on a police department device.
Two sources said the Camden County Attorney’s Office was also hit by a hacking incident which affected some files. It is unclear how significant the cyberattack suffered by the office in recent weeks was.
A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. New Jersey State Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s press office also did not immediately respond to a request for information.
A spokesman for the FBI office in Philadelphia said “our standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations.”
The cyberattack on the Camden County Police Department comes after other law enforcement agencies were also targeted. In February, US Marshals suffered a malware attack that affected many systems. The Washington DC Metropolitan Police in 2021 and the Atlanta Police Department in 2018 were also hit by malware-related attacks.