Dallas County Hacked Info Posted Online

Dallas County
Dallas County records building | Image by Marouanesitti

A Dallas County official confirmed Tuesday that hackers posted data stolen from the county’s systems online. 

A ransomware cybercrime organization called “Play” claimed to have stolen data from Dallas County last month and threatened to post it on November 3. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed the hack on October 30, then released a statement on November 7 stating that the data had been revealed. He did not specify how much or what type of information was compromised. 

“Dallas County is aware of an unauthorized party posting data claimed to be taken from our systems in connection with our recent cybersecurity incident,” Jenkins said. “We are currently in the process of thoroughly reviewing the data in question to determine its authenticity and potential impact.”

“We understand the concerns that such an incident may raise among our residents, employees, and partners. We want to assure everyone that we are taking this matter seriously. Our top priority is the security and privacy of all individuals associated with Dallas County,” he continued. 

Jenkins said the investigation into the cybersecurity hack is ongoing. He also explained that those impacted by the hackers would be notified by county officials once confirmed.

The statement from Jenkins negates earlier assessments from Dallas County last month that it “effectively prevented any encryption of its files or systems” in regard to the cybersecurity attack.

“Currently, there is no evidence of ongoing threat actor activity in our environment,” the previous county statement said. “Given these measures and findings, it appears at this time that the incident has been successfully contained and that Dallas County’s systems are secure for use.”

The City of Dallas experienced a ransomware attack in May that resulted in 800,000 stolen files, as reported by The Dallas Express. The incident is still under investigation. 

City officials sent out responses to open records requests last month that claimed a cybersecurity incident delayed processing. Officials later claimed that no new cybersecurity attack had impacted the city, as reported by The Dallas Express, and that the automated notice was mistakenly left in place from the ransomware attack earlier in the year.

“When the cyber-attack took place back in May 2023, the City of Dallas Open Records Center sent automatic replies to our requesters just to inform them their request has been received,” Nancy Gonzalez, an open records manager, told The Dallas Express. “It also informed them due to the cyber-attack, their records may be delayed. After the cyber-attack incident, we failed to remove the automatic reply that was sent to the requesters.

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