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It has been three weeks since Dallas’ operations were affected by a municipal network outage. Some are describing ransomware as the cause of the issue. Contractors and information technology specialists worked on restoring the system at the Dallas Municipal Court on Tuesday, May 23rd.
Following a ransomware attack, Dallas is working to restore its network. As contractors and IT specialists worked to restore the data of Dallas Municipal Court, the courts remained closed on Tuesday, May 23rd.
“It’s been widely reported that there was quite a large hack that happened,” Beck Ventures president, Scott Beck, stated at a press conference in North Dallas on May 23rd when asked about the timeline of a project. Representatives from the city government were present, including the City Manager, T.C. Broadnax. They did not directly address remarks or questions about the cyberattack. “Is our personal information protected? Has that been leaked out,” Dallas FireFighters Association President, Jim McDade asked.
In a letter sent this week to the Dallas City Manager and Deputy City Manager, McDade and Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata expressed their concerns. A letter from the Association and its members said there were concerns over data leaks and ransomware attacks on the city.
“Nobody can give us 100% assurances that our data has not been leaked or stolen by this group that had the ransomware attack on the city,” McDade explained. The latest update states, “there remains no established evidence of a data leak.”
Dallas police and firefighters want the city to ensure all their members get identity theft protection for five years. “The transparency through this whole thing has been questionable, at best,” McDade said. “We’ve been trying to get answers. They keep saying, well, we don’t think so. But nobody can give me a guarantee.”
Police and firefighters are calling for an interview or statement from City Manager T.C. Broadnax regarding the system outage. A key member of SecurityScorecard’s executive team is Christos Kalantzis. This organisation monitors the security posture of businesses, governments, and other entities. According to Kalantzis, the City of Dallas might be experiencing some unusual events behind the scenes. “They’re probably restoring backups if they’ve had backups,” Kalantzis explained.
IT professionals work round the clock, trying to find vulnerabilities. “They clean out any malware or viruses in their systems. Plus those leaks,” Kalantzis added. Hackers, or ransomware gangs, threaten municipalities for several reasons, according to SecurityScorecard. Political and financial motivations are among them.
“Most local governments are usually running older systems. You couple older systems with very low funding, and they become a prime target for ransomware gangs, or threat actors, as we call them,” Kalantzis explained.
According to some employees, the City of Dallas remains out of service due to a municipal network outage. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable, at all, to expect some form of protection,” McDade said.