Kansas City Cyberattack Disrupts Services: Security This Day Updates You

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Kansas found itself at the center of a cyberattack that disrupted critical government services, including email, phone systems, and online payment systems.

In a recent cybersecurity incident, a small city in Kansas found itself at the center of a cyberattack that disrupted critical government services, including email, phone systems, and online payment systems. While the attack impacted Pittsburg, a city with a population of around 20,000 along the state’s border, public safety services like 911 dispatch remained unaffected.

City Manager Daron Hall emphasized the significance of the incident, acknowledging the all-too-common nature of such attacks nationwide. The city swiftly responded by launching a comprehensive assessment, which is expected to continue for several weeks. Throughout this period, the city remains dedicated to delivering essential services to its community.

The incident response team in Pittsburg took proactive measures to protect city data and network systems. Additionally, forensic experts were hired to fully comprehend the extent and implications of the attack. Importantly, city operations continued despite the disruption, and public safety services remained operational. However, the city has not disclosed whether the incident involved ransomware or if a ransom payment is under consideration. As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This incident in Kansas is just one in a series of recent cyberattacks on municipalities across the United States. In Hinds County, Mississippi, a ransomware incident disrupted government services, causing inconvenience for home buyers and sellers due to limited access to county records. The FBI is leading recovery efforts, but officials have not provided a timeline for service restoration.

St. Louis County, located just one state over from Pittsburg, faced its own cyberattack, resulting in the shutdown of its Regional Justice Information System (REJIS). This system is critical for police officers, jails, municipal courts, and attorneys in multiple counties. The county had to rely on paper records for jail bookings and releases, and court cases in St. Louis County Municipal Court were canceled for several days.

County Executive Sam Page has requested $5 million from the county’s emergency fund to bolster cybersecurity measures and protect against future attacks. He emphasized the critical role these systems play in public safety and the need for proactive measures.

The Department of Homeland Security has warned that ransomware gangs are on track to amass nearly $1 billion in extortion ransoms in 2023. These attacks continue to target both private businesses and government organizations at various levels, highlighting the ongoing cybersecurity challenges that communities and entities face.

Stay informed with Security This Day as we provide updates on cybersecurity incidents and strategies to protect against emerging threats.

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