Dallas is still under a ransomware attack. Here’s what’s impacted | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Early last month, the city of Dallas was hit with a ransomware attack by the hacker group Royal, which impacted a number of its websites.

The city’s online services were down for several days following the May 3 cyberattack.

Dallas Chief Information Officer William Zielinski told a city council committee at the time that the attack affected systems throughout the city’s network.

Here’s what we know was impacted by the ransomware attack:

  • Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire-Rescue, 911 and 311: The outages impacted DPD’s computer-assisted dispatch system, known as CAD. Dispatch call takers had to manually write down instructions for officers in the field and officers were only able to respond through their phones and radios. According to city spokesperson Catherine Cuellar, those systems were brought back online May 6 and emergency dispatch has stayed in operation since. 
  • Dallas Water Utilities: The attack knocked out the online payment system for Dallas Water Utilities, as well as meter-reading software. Those have since come back online. 
  • Dallas Municipal Court: The court was closed for the majority of the month after the cyberattack. There were no hearings, trials or jury duty during that time, and the city could not accept nearly any form of citation payments. Dallas residents were still able to mail important documents to the court, but wasn’t able to process them until the court reopened on Tuesday. All hearings that were scheduled since May 3 will be rescheduled and new court dates mailed out now that services are restored. 
  • Dallas Public Library: The library’s reservation system has not been brought back online yet. Staff are still manually tracking the availability of borrowed items. Residents can still check those items out, but are being advised not to return them until the system is fully functional again.

The city says it’s been working with federal and state law enforcement to investigate the ransomware attack.
Meanwhile, city spokesperson Catherine Cuellar says workarounds remain in place as officials continue to restore public safety and public-facing services.

“Serving our residents remains a top priority, and while we restored most services, our team of experts continues working day and night towards full recovery,” she said.

Cueller said the city’s also working with cybersecurity experts to develop enhanced security features and rebuild impacted systems.

“We appreciate our community’s patience as we continue investigating and addressing this matter,” she said.

Got a tip? Email Rebekah Morr at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @bekah_morr.

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