Jackson County hackers claim to release information from cyber attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The ransomware group Black Suit has claimed responsibility for the ransomware attack on Jackson County that was discovered Tuesday, April 2.

“What we’re working with is law enforcement. We’ve heard the same thing,” Jackson County Administrator Troy Schulte said about Black Suit in an interview with FOX4 after Monday’s County Legislative meeting.

Schulte works in County Executive Frank White’s office. Both were in attendance during Monday’s meeting.

“There was no tax, confidential data that would have been released,” Schulte continued. “We’re not sure what exactly they released, but we’re working with law enforcement to kind of track it down.”

Over the weekend, cyber security company Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow put on X, formerly Twitter, that Black Suit’s claiming they stole county employee data like passports, contacts, contracts, family details, and medical examinations.

“There is no reason to disbelieve them. They are criminals. They are obviously not trustworthy, but they do usually have at least some of the information that they claim to have,” Callow said in a zoom interview with FOX4 Monday afternoon.

Schulte reiterated though he does not believe any taxpayer’s personal information would have been stolen and then released.

Callow says the good news is there’s no evidence the data that’s stolen is routinely misused to commit identity fraud or other forms of cyber crime.

“The ransomware gang that stole the information’s really interested in collecting the big hundreds of thousands of dollars or multi millions of dollars ransoms from their targets,” Callow said. “They’re not interested in the much smaller sums they could make in identity frauds.”

“No,” he added when asked if a government entity should ever pay a ransom. “Ransoms are what keeps the ransomware gangs in business. Organizations that pay ensure that other organizations will be in the crosshairs. If nobody ever paid ransoms, there would be no ransomware. It really is that simple.”

“It’s my understanding that we didn’t see it necessary to pay the ransom,” Jackson County Legislator Saan Smith said in an interview with FOX4 Monday. “We weren’t asked to approve anything like that, but as far as whether or not somebody’s threatening to release information, that would be the first I’ve heard of it, is you letting me know.”

“And the reality of what we’ve been made aware is that there is limited data that they have access to,” Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca said in an interview with FOX4 Monday, talking about Black Suit. “But in house there’s a possibility that there’s significant information for county employees, and that’s something to be concerned about.”

Schulte said what Black Suit potentially got was a 30-year history of taxpayer data like values of property, but all of that information’s already public.

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