It’s Groundhog Day, Again: 22 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware


August 21, 2019

Towns across the country are getting whammied by Malware on a regular basis. It’s honestly like the movie Groundhog Day. The same story, over and over again.

This time it happened in Texas. 22 towns, 22 TOWNS, were hit by malware in a massive attack. I’d be shocked but I’m too busy trying to find a toaster with a long enough cord to reach the tub.

Dark humor aside, it’s really quite a hit on municipalities. According to early reports the attackers are telling officials it’ll cost them about $2.5 million per town/city to unlock the encrypted systems.

I hope by now you can understand why I’m comparing this to Groundhog Day. This isn’t the first time a municipality has been totally steam rolled by this type off attack. As a matter of fact, we cover this story week after week. Just last week we published an article (7 Steps a Municipality Can Take to Avoid Cyber Attacks) on the very topic!

Obviously we have no readers in the great State of Texas…

Details are scarce regarding what exactly went down but here’s what we know so far:

  • It was a coordinated attack – The FBI believes the same person perpetrated all 22 attacks.
  • All 22 Cities and Towns Apparently Used the Same Software Provider – This one absolutely flips our lid but according to reports this attack appears to be a sort of like a supply-chain attack, much like what happened to Target a few years ago.

You can read more about what happened in an article posted on NPR if you’re interested. If you work for a municipality or you’re worried your town might be impacted by something like this I highly suggest you read our 7 Steps a Municipality Can Take to Avoid a Cyber Attack guide. Maybe forward it to a friend or acquaintance in Texas. Might help them going forward.

Carl Keyser is the Content Manager at Integris.

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