RICHMOND, Va., (AP) — Criminal hackers are now using increasingly brazen methods to try to extort money from law enforcement agencies, including leaking or threatening to leak highly sensitive and potentially life-threatening information.

The increasingly defiant attacks on law enforcement agencies underscore how little the criminal syndicates that operate ransomware gangs fear any repercussions.

In Washington, D.C., a Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate called Babuk hacked into the network of the city police department and threatened to leak the identities of the department’s confidential informants.

Experts say they hadn’t seen such aggressive tactics used against police departments before.