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Hackers target Texas city’s network because of state’s ban on gender-affirming care | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


  • The hacker group, SiegedSec, has allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack that happened at around 4 pm on Friday
  • The hacker’s post ‘alludes to, basically, embarrassing the city and making a political statement, the city’s chief technology officer said Saturday
  • The hackers reportedly stole information from a website used to track city orders. No sensitive data was disclosed, according to city officials 

A hacker group has reportedly targeted the City of Fort Worth over Texas’ position on sex reassignment surgery. 

The hacker group, SiegedSec, has allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred at around 4 pm on Friday. 

City officials said the post expressed a message against the U.S. government, specifically targeting Texas for its ban on gender-affirming care.

‘We have decided to make a message toward the U.S. Government, Texas happens to be one of the largest states banning gender-affirming care and for that we have made Texas a target,’ the post allegedly said. 

The hacked information mainly consisted of work orders within the city’s system – including invoices, staff emails, and spreadsheets. No sensitive data was disclosed, according to city officials.

Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (pictured) banned gender transitioning treatment for minors, including sex reassignment surgeries and cross-sex hormones. Texas became the 17th state to outlaw gender-affirming care for teenagers
A hacker group has reportedly targeted the City of Fort Worth over Texas’ position on sex reassignment surgery. City officials said the post expressed a message against the US government, specifically targeting Texas for its ban on gender-affirming care
The hacker group, SiegedSec, has allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred at around 4 pm on Friday

The hackers reportedly stole information from a website used to track city orders. 

City of Fort Worth officials held a press conference Saturday on the unauthorized data leak, led by the city’s chief technology officer, Kevin Gunn. 

When asked why hackers would want this information, Gunn said the hacker’s post ‘alludes to, basically, embarrassing the city and making a political statement.’

‘Obviously, we want to protect the interest of residents and businesses and the employees of the city of Fort Worth, so we’ll make the decisions that are in their best interest, and we want to protect them to the extent we can,’ Gunn said. 

Gunn noted the post originated from the city’s computer systems and it appears the hackers stole login information to view work systems.

He clarified the hackers gained access to a city website that facilitates maintenance work orders and activity for the city’s transportation, public works, parks and recreation and property management departments — ‘not from the city’s public-facing intranet website.’

‘However, the data came from a website that our workers use to manage their maintenance activities, not from the city’s public-facing internet website,’ Gunner said. 

There is no evidence that any other systems were accessed, nor any other evidence of sensitive information such as social security or banking information was accessed or released,’ Gunn added. 

The city’s Information Technology Solutions department was alerted to the post on Friday indicating the city’s website had been hacked, after SiegedSec reportedly posted about the hack on the messaging system, Telegram, according to Fox News Digita. 

City officials reportedly removed all users from the website and forced everyone to reset their passwords. 

Officials are working with federal and local law enforcement, as well as computer forensic experts, to review information in order ‘to fully understand the depth and scope of this incident. 

‘We are continuing to review this volume of information to make sure we fully understand the scope and depth of this incident,’ Gunn said.

Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned gender transitioning treatment for minors, including sex reassignment surgeries and cross-sex hormones.

 

Texas became the 17th state to outlaw gender-affirming care for teenagers. 

Republican Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill in early June banning puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery for under-18s wishing to transition.

Medical providers who violate the law — set to come into force from September 1 — could have their licenses revoked.

The Texas law — called Senate Bill 14 — incorporates exceptions to the bans for minors who began treatment before June 1 or those who attended 12 or more sessions of mental health counseling or psychotherapy for at least six months.

But it says these patients should be ‘weaned off’ the prescription drugs over an undefined ‘time period’.

The measures were inserted by lawmakers in the hopes of avoiding lawsuits against the ban.

Estimates suggest there are about 29,800 under-18s who identify as transgender in Texas — the third highest number in the U.S. behind New York and California.

The ban will come into force on October 1 and exempt people with a ‘medically verifiable disorder of sex development.’

But activists have hit back. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU) slammed lawmakers, saying they were ‘hellbent on joining the growing roster of states determined to jeopardize the health and lives of transgender youth’.

They added that this was ‘in direct opposition to the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence.’

Transgender youth in Texas deserve the support and care necessary to give them the same chance to thrive as their peers,’ a spokesperson said.

In June, Abbott also signed a law banning transgender college athletes in the state from competing as the gender with which they identify. The bill will require college athletes to play sports based on their gender assigned at birth. Abbott holds up Senate Bill 15 after signing it into law during a bill signing ceremony at the Texas Capitol on  June 15

The state also ordered child welfare officials to investigate reports of children receiving transgender care as child abuse. A judge has blocked these investigations.

In June, Abbott also signed a law banning transgender college athletes in the state from competing as the gender with which they identify, meaning that they must compete as the sex listed on their birth certificate.

The new law, which takes effect on September 1, expands a 2021 bill that banned transgender students in public schools from competing in sports that align with their gender identity.

Abbott said the new law, titled the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act, ‘protects young women’ at Texas colleges and universities by prohibiting biological men from competing against them in college sports.

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