Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Local Appraisal District Hit With Ransomware Attack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


The Tarrant Appraisal District board called an emergency meeting on Monday to address a ransomware attack in which the hackers are demanding $700,000 and claim to have control over sensitive information.

The Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) board is working with cybersecurity experts to restore operations after the March 21 system failure. The incident was reported to the FBI, and the investigation is ongoing, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

This crash marks the second TAD database failure in two weeks. The first crash was blamed on a database failure, according to Fox 4. In this latest attack, TAD confirmed that they are a victim of a ransomware attack. The ransomware attackers are demanding $700,000 in exchange for sensitive information not being disclosed.

According to a private security firm working with TAD, there is no current evidence suggesting that the hackers are in possession of the information they allege, per Fox 4.

Still, the recent crashes have led to public scrutiny from taxpayers.

“You’re not going to make me or anybody else feel better by telling us things are better than they actually are,” said realtor Chandler Crouch, per Fox 4. “I want to know the hard unvarnished truth.”

“The citizens of Tarrant County deserve better, and you must do better,” added property owner Jerald Miller.

TAD board member Gary Losada noted concern, saying, “In April, if all goes well, notices are going to come out on valuations, and we’ll repeat the cycle with taxpayers unhappy with their values. If we can’t even tell them what their values should be, we got a major problem on our hands,” Fox 4 reported.

A private security firm working on TAD’s ransomware situation has stated that there is no confirmation that the hackers have the private information they allege to have, per Fox 4.

The appraisal district is in charge of every property tax appraisal and exemption in Tarrant County, and the website is especially important for taxpayers during tax season.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, several municipalities have been hit by ransomware attacks. Last year, a ransomware attack affected multiple City of Dallas servers. Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) was hit by a ransomware attack in 2022 that saw the DCAD pay the hacker group $170,000 in cryptocurrency. After the cyber attack, DCAD allocated half a million dollars to improve cyber security.

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