Computer systems in 22 meager Texas towns have been hacked, captured and held for ransom in a broad, coordinated cyberattack that has sent state emergency-management officials clambering and provoked a national investigation, the authorities said.
The Texas Department of Information Resources said Monday that it was scrambling to bring systems back online subsequent to the “ransomware attack,” in which hackers remotely obstruct access to valuable data until a ransom is paid. Such attacks are a burgeoning problem for city, county and state governments, court systems and school districts nationally. .
By Tuesday evening, Texas authorities had carried down the number of towns influenced to 22 from 23 and said a few government offices whose frameworks were affected were back to “operations as usual.”
The ransomware attack seemed to influence many organizations in the 22 towns, but not whole government PC frameworks. Authorities said that there were ongoing themes among the 22 elements and that the effect showed up not to be arbitrary, yet they declined to expound, referring to a government investigation. It was doubtful who was the mastermind. The state depicted the assailant just as “one
single threat actor.”
Elliott Sprehe, a spokesperson for the information resources department, refused to provide any more details or release the names of the towns affected because of the “potential for further attacks.”
He refused to say if any of the towns had paid up or not.
“It’s limited to just a handful of areas,” Mr. Sprehe added. “It’s not disparate throughout the state.”
The attack started on Friday morning. Later that day, Gov. Greg Abbott dictated the second-highest level of alert in the state’s emergency-response system, labeling the attack as a Level 2 Escalated Response, anticipating that the scope of the occurrence had reached ahead what local responders can endure.
“Governor Abbott is also deploying cyber-security experts to affected areas in order to assess the damage and help bring local government entities back online,” Nan Tolson, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in a statement.