Hacker Group Publishes Sensitive Information

Hackers coding virus ransomware.
Hackers coding virus ransomware. | Image by boonchai wedmakawand/Getty Images

Internet hackers known as Medusa have followed through on their threats to publish personal information obtained through a ransomware attack on the Tarrant Appraisal District last month, according to a local realtor and taxpayer activist.

“Time ran out, and hackers published whatever they had. Value notices are likely hitting mail boxes tomorrow. Tad.org has been working intermittently. If the site does not work properly, Tad will likely extend the deadline. News headlines aren’t likely to slow down this month,” Chandler Crouch posted on his Facebook page on Sunday. 

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the TAD board stated that fewer than 300 people were affected by the breach of sensitive data that occurred in March. The board said that notifications were sent to people who were affected by the ransomware attack. 

Medusa demanded $700,000 to prevent the release of personal information, but the board refused to acquiesce. The hack disrupted the district’s phone lines, email platform, and website. 

“It’s evil, it’s criminal,” TAD Chairman Vince Puente told DX

Puente said that TAD is working around the clock to ensure the system is operational and the public is protected from future cyber attacks. Professional experts have been hired to deal with the recent ransomware attack, with “the focus being protecting the public.” 

“If they accessed all employee files and all exemption applications, it could be a sizable amount of personal data. On top of personal information, it appears the data published to the internet includes plenty of documents and data that TAD has historically not been willing to provide unredacted, such as Marshall & Swift data and other confidential items TAD uses to conduct its business.

“The good news is that the most sensitive piece of data that most people have at risk would be their driver’s license information, which is required to qualify for a homestead exemption,” Crouch told DX.

Some of the TAD board member candidates who are running in the May 4 election have stressed the need to reform TAD, including the way it handles its sensitive data.

“This attack and data exposure is just another reason why TAD needs reform. This breach of data is just another breach of public trust. When I’m on the board, I will be fighting to secure our data and make sure that TAD has multiple backups for all their data,” TAD Board of Directors Place 1 candidate Eric Morris told DX.

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