Cybersecurity expert gives insight into ransomware attack on JaxCo systems | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More questions remain after a ransomware attack disrupted Jackson County’s systems earlier this week.

Since Tuesday, the Assessment, Collection, and Recorder of Deeds offices have been closed and will remain closed for the rest of the week.

The KSHB 41 I-Team spoke with a cybersecurity expert on Wednesday to get insight into the ransomware attack on the county’s systems.

James Turgal, a vice president of cybersecurity firm Optiv, told the I-Team based on what he’s seen, there could be a connection of why it happened on Election Day.

Jackson County’s tax payment, online property, marriage license, and inmate search systems were affected.

Right now, the county said there’s no evidence any data has been compromised.

In response, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. declared a state of emergency as a proactive measure against the attack. He said the county’s IT response limited damage.

So far, the county hasn’t said there’s a connection between the ransomware attack and Election Day.

Turgal, who worked for the FBI for more than 20 years, told the I-Team there’s no such thing as a cyber coincidence.

“If the threat actors were trying to infiltrate the election part of this or the election technology piece, and were not able to do it, right, the next best thing is to disrupt the county services,” Turgal said.

The county said it doesn’t keep any financial information for customers on its systems. That’s handled and protected by a third-party company.

The I-Team has been trying to find out from the county the source of the ransomware attack, if the county paid a ransom, and how long it could be before the systems recover and get back online.


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