Emergency Declared: Ransomware Attack, IT Systems Down

Several offices in the Kansas City area were closed Tuesday due to “operational inconsistencies” believed to be part of a ransomware attack.

Authorities in Jackson County, Missouri, announced that employees had identified “significant disruptions” within the county’s IT systems, “potentially attributable to a ransomware attack.”

Officials said in a statement this morning that some systems are now inoperable while others function as normal. Authorities have been investigating the operational inconsistencies.

“The County recognizes the impact these closures have on its residents,” officials said in Tuesday’s statement. “We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding during this time and will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Systems impacted reportedly included tax payments, online property, marriage licenses, and inmate searches.

Officials made the decision to close the County Assessment Department, along with the Recorder of Deeds offices at all Jackson County locations, until further notice, KMBC reported.

In Jackson County, Missouri, Sheriff Darryl Forte said the Sheriff’s Office was able to provide both emergency and non-emergency services throughout the day Tuesday, as its computer-aided dispatch system (CAD) was functioning.

The system outage came as Missouri voters were heading to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections, however, the Jackson County Board of Elections and the Kansas City Board of Elections have not been impacted, officials said.

The county has notified law enforcement agencies and contacted IT security contractors to assist in the investigation and remediate the situation, according to the statement.

Although officials said they have no reason to believe any county data has been compromised, Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. declared a state of emergency in Jackson County due to a potential ransomware attack.

In an executive order, White said the county may see a “significant budgetary impact” related to the incident, and appropriations from the county emergency fund might be needed.

“The investments we’ve made in our cybersecurity infrastructure have significantly reduced our vulnerability to such attacks and have fortified our ability to respond effectively,” White said. “Our IT Department’s prompt detection and response underline the value of our ongoing commitment to cybersecurity.”

White also said further investment in the county’s IT infrastructure may be needed.

via amgreatness

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