Play Ransomware Behind Kansas City Scout System Disruption | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The Play ransomware group has claimed responsibility for an attack on the Kansas City Scout System which forced its staff to take immediate protective action by shutting down all systems.

The Kansas City Scout System provides real-time weather and traffic updates to drivers along roads and highways in Kansas City. This system, managed jointly by the Departments of Transportation in Missouri and Kansas, suffered a significant setback during a weekend of severe storms.

While the details of the attack are unknown, the Play ransomware gang later appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The shut down affected the service’s dynamic information boards, the official website as well as the real-time camera system.

Kansas City Scout System Systems Shut Down

Local news outlets posted images of blank screens along the Kansas City highways, highlighting the system’s outage. The organization later confirmed through social media that a cyberattack had caused the disruption. Although specific details regarding the attack were not disclosed, the IT team took preemptive measures by shutting down all systems.

KC Scout System Services Update
KC Scout System Services Update Notice on X.

The Kansas City Scout staff stated on its official (Twitter) account that restoration efforts were underway but stated that it was too early to provide a rough estimation of full availability and that could possibly take months for full restoration. The staff requested for patience from partners and the public as they work to restore the systems.

Play Ransomware Group Claims Responsibility for Disrupting Kansas City Scout SystemPlay Ransomware Group Claims Responsibility for Disrupting Kansas City Scout System
Source: (@AlvieriD)

The Play Ransomware group listed the Kansas City Scout System as a victim on its official leak site today, while giving about 6 days before publication of allegedly compromised data. No samples or further details were provided, making it difficult to confirm the group’s involvement in the attack.

While Play Ransomware group has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack on the Kansas City Scout System, however, it remains unconfirmed whether they actually conducted the attack or are merely claiming responsibility to attract attention. Official confirmation of the hacker collective responsible for the said attack is yet to be provided.

Attack coincided with severe weather conditions in the area

This attack coincided with severe weather conditions in the area, including tornadoes that claimed four lives. Trooper Tiffany Baylark from the Kansas Highway Patrol expressed concerns about the inability to communicate severe weather warnings or watches to drivers due to the outage.

The inaccessibility of the system’s official website, further complicated the situation amidst the severe weather forecast.

Melissa Black, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Kansas City District advised the public to seek Missouri traffic information via or by calling 888-275-6636.

Similarly, Kansas information could be obtained through or by calling 511. Officials stated that immediate and critical traffic information impacting the KC metro area would be shared through these sites.

Limited information about the traffic and weather situation could be accessed via the toll-free number.

Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.

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