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Travis Central Appraisal District becomes victim of a ransomware attack


Travis Central Appraisal District suffered a cyberattack on Sep. 11, 2019. Travis Central Appraisal District has been responsible for providing value of real as well as business personal properties at the county. The agency has confirmed the cyberattack on Sep. 19, 2019.


The District said that their computer systems have been hacked on Sep. 11, 2019, in ransomware attack; however there is no evidence that any data from the appraisals has been compromised.


Marya Crigler, Chief Appraiser, said that their computer systems have been attacked at 9:30pm on Sep. 11 in a statement. The attack has affected "website property search, phone, email, and Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal systems," said Crigler.


Many files have been encrypted and were rendered inaccessible to server, thus causing some services of agency to stop working. However, Crigler said on Sep. 19, 2019, that day-to-day operations of Travis Central Appraisal District - including appraisal protests as well as customer service requests from the property owners - have not been affected. She added that the district as well as the law enforcement has not yet identified who has initiated this cyberattack.


As soon as this cyberattack was discovered, the agency has isolated affected systems and informed the state agencies and cybersecurity officials. The District has refused to pay ransom that was demanded, and has decided to restore the files rather than paying the ransom. It is working with the experts for restoring the operations. The backup data has been stored, by the District, in the offshore locations. This is getting used for restoring the system functionality.


"Confidential property owner information was not at risk during this incident. As of September 19, 2019, all core systems have been fully restored," said Crigler. The District has assured that the officials were working on restoring the secondary systems soon.


The District has been engaging cybersecurity experts so as to analyze this cyberattacks, as well as for implementing preventive strategies so that similar kind of attacks don't recur again in the future.


"We continue to restore secondary computer systems and work with cyber security experts and state agencies to identify the parties responsible for the cyber-attack," Crigler said in a media statement.


» SPAMfighter News - 10/4/2019

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