Jackson County IT Systems Hit By Ransomware Attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Jackson County in Missouri, United States, reported significant disruptions within its IT systems on Tuesday, caused by a ransomware attack. 

The disturbances have led to the declaration of a state of emergency caused by operational inconsistencies across digital infrastructure, with specific systems rendered inoperative while others remained functional. 

Impacted services include tax payments and online property, marriage licenses and inmate searches. Consequently, the Assessment, Collection and Recorder of Deeds offices across all County locations will be closed until April 5.

“There is an urgent need to reinstate the county’s core functions to minimize inconvenience for residents,” Jackson County Executive, Frank White, Jr, wrote in an updated press release on Wednesday. “We are actively exploring every avenue to ensure our residents are not negatively impacted by the closures.”

The Kansas City Board of Elections and Jackson County Board of Elections reportedly remained unaffected by the system outage, maintaining continuity in crucial electoral processes.

Prompt action has been taken, with law enforcement notified and IT security contractors enlisted to investigate and address the situation. Emphasizing the importance of network integrity and resident data confidentiality, the County said no evidence of data compromise currently exists. 

“The impact on the county does not include taxpayers’ personal and sensitive financial information,” reads the updated notice. “Such data is hosted completely outside of the county’s network and is securely managed and stored by our trusted partner, PayIt.”

Efforts to bolster system security against further compromise are underway, alongside endeavors to restore full operational capacity to affected services. 

“It’s no longer sufficient to rely solely on reactive measures after an attack has occurred,” explained Jess Parnell, CISO at Centripetal. “Businesses and organizations must shift from an inward security focus, which primarily looks at vulnerabilities and patching, to an outward focus that anticipates and defends against potential exploits.”

Read more on ransomware: 78% of Organizations Suffer Repeat Ransomware Attacks After Paying

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