Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Dallas-Fort Worth hacks: 2 biggest cities hacked in 2 months time | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


TEXAS, USA — The City of Fort Worth announced Saturday its city website had been hacked and data from an internal information system had been posted online. 

This marked the second time in two months that a local municipality had been hacked in two months. While the two instances have not been linked, the city of Dallas had its city systems hacked in early May. A group called “Royal” was responsible for Dallas’ attack and demanded a ransom.  

It took over a month to get everything back up and running in Dallas.

Each computer, including the ones in every police car and fire department vehicle, had to be checked. 

“We are still working through the bugs of the system and having to rebuild a lot of the systems,” Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Dominique Artis told WFAA earlier this month. 

All reports, including those taken at crime scenes, had to be handwritten and manually imputed. That means police officers were spending hours every day uploading their reports that had piled up for weeks. 

The city told WFAA on June 5 that 90% of the computer network is back up and running, but it would take time to be at 100%. The Dallas Public Library announced Friday that its catalog system was restored.

When Dallas’ ransomware attack happened, WFAA reported on Fort Worth’s efforts to prevent it from happening to them.

“We block about a quarter million emails each day as potential threats to our computing systems,” Fort Worth Chief Technology Officer Kevin Gunn said at the time. “We see people trying to access our computer systems over the Internet thousands of times each hour.”

Fort Worth’s hack occurred due to stolen login information of the city system, Gunn said.

Gunn said Saturday that information gathered by hackers was “not sensitive in nature” and was the type of information the city would release through Public Information Act requests. 

Some of the examples of the type of information hacked were work orders in the city system, which include photographs, spreadsheets and emails between staff. An example Gunn gave was photos of a pothole that needed repairs or sidewalk and street repairs and the supplementing documentation for those work orders.

Gunn said there has not been a ransom demanded from the City. 

“Other than what they’ve stated in their posting, their motivation for downloading this information and posting it on the Internet … their posting eludes to basically embarrassing the city of Fort Worth and making a political statement,” Gunn said. “So that’s all I can really gather and surmise about what their motivation is.”

Fort Worth IT employees said the motive stems from legislation passed by state lawmakers. Texas recently joined 17 other states in creating laws to prevent trans-youth from accessing gender care.

In a Facebook post, the alleged hackers stated, “We have decided to make a message toward the U.S. government. It just happens to be one of the largest states banning gender affirming care, and for that we have made Texas our target.”

“They’re posting alludes to basically embarrassing the city of Fort Worth and making a political statement,” said Gunn.

The city was made aware of the post late Friday afternoon, when a state computer incident response team contacted them.

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