Dallas County appears to be the latest in a string of local cyberattacks after a ransomware group claimed on the dark web over the weekend that it has obtained county information.
The county said Monday that it became aware of a “cybersecurity incident” on Oct. 19, but county officials have not released details of the incident.
“We immediately took steps to contain the incident and engaged an external cybersecurity firm to conduct a comprehensive forensic investigation,” County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins said in a statement.
The statement said that the county has put in place stringent security protocols and is working with cybersecurity specialists and law enforcement to address the situation.
Citing an ongoing investigation, the statement did not elaborate on the incident. Lewis Jenkins’ office declined to comment further.
Cyber experts have posted on X, formerly Twitter, screenshots from the dark web of a cyberhacking group claiming to have information from Dallas County. The screenshots say the hackers created the post Oct. 28.
The ransomware group, Play, has claimed responsibility. This cyber terror group also hit Oakland, CA, other media outlets have reported.
At least 72 local governments in the US have been impacted by ransomware this year, according to Emsisoft, a cybersecurity firm that helps recover data stolen in ransomware attacks.
Dallas has seen several attacks recently, including attacks on the City of Dallas and the Dallas Central Appraisal District.
In April, hackers stole more than 800,000 files from the City of Dallas. An internal review of the data breach concluded that the group, Royal, used stolen online credentials to get into the city of Dallas’ system
Last November, the appraisal district was hit on Election Day 2022 when the same ransomware group, Royal, froze employees’ access to computers, emails and the district website. The tax appraisal district paid $170,000 to the ransomware group.
Dallas County has been without a top Information Technology officer since July.