Published on August 17th, 2019 📆 | 3912 Views ⚑0
Cyber Attack Targets Texas Government Agencies
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) has confirmed that at least 20 local government entities across Texas were impacted by what they’re describing as a “coordinated ransomware attack.”
- At least 20 Texas agencies attacked
- Ransomware restricts computer access
- The virus can be sent through phishing emails
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency describes ransomware as a type of malicious software that locks a person or a company out of their computer system, or restricts their access to data. Ransomware normally infects a computer or computer system when people open attachments, click on links in phishing emails, or visit a website infected with the malicious software.
In a ransomware attack, the hacker that deployed the malware holds the data or computer system hostage until a ransom is paid. But because these hackers are criminals, even if the victim pays the asking price, they don’t always recover their files or system network.
Right now, DIR is not releasing much information about the attack so they can respond as effectively as possible, and to protect the integrity of their investigation.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is helping with the response by coordinating the effort through the Texas State Operations Center.
In addition to the DIR, the Texas Military Department and the Texas A&M Cyberresponse and Security Operations Center teams are sending resources to the agencies most critically affected by the attack.