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Government Software Provider Tyler Technologies Hit by Possible Ransomware Attack

Tyler Technologies hit by ransomware

Tyler Technologies, a major Texas-based provider of software and services for the U.S. government, started informing customers on Wednesday of a security incident that is believed to have involved a piece of ransomware.

Tyler’s website is currently unavailable and in emails sent out to customers the company said its internal phone and IT systems were accessed without authorization by an “unknown third party.”

“Early this morning, we became aware that an unauthorized intruder had disrupted access to some of our internal systems. Upon discovery and out of an abundance of caution, we shut down points of access to external systems and immediately began investigating and remediating the problem,” reads the email, signed by the company’s CIO, Matt Bieri. “We have since engaged outside IT security and forensics experts to conduct a detailed review and help us securely restore affected equipment. We are implementing enhanced monitoring systems, and we have notified law enforcement.”

Bieri said only its internal network and phone systems appeared to have been impacted, and there was no evidence that client data, servers or hosted systems were affected.

SecurityWeek has reached out to Tyler for additional information on the incident and will update this article if the company responds.

In the meantime, Bleeping Computer reported that the company was targeted with a piece of ransomware named RansomExx. Cybercriminals are also said to have leveraged this piece of malware in attacks on the Texas Department of Transportation and Konica Minolta.

It’s unclear if the threat group that uses RansomExx also steals data from victim organizations. Ransomware operations increasingly involve the theft of sensitive data, which the attackers use for extortion and to increase their chances of getting paid by the victim.

Security blogger Brian Krebs learned from some Tyler customers in local government that the incident has resulted in people being unable to pay utility bills and make court payments.

Krebs also pointed out that Tyler provides customers a “survival guide” for ransomware attacks, including how to “respond to, and survive, a ransomware attack.” The measures proposed by the company may have helped lessen the impact of the attack, assuming that it has followed its own advice.

UPDATE: Tyler has confirmed being hit by ransomware.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.