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Missouri County Hit by Ransomware

Jackson County, Missouri, discloses ‘significant disruptions’ to IT systems, says ransomware attack likely at fault.

Jackson County, Missouri, on Tuesday announced that its IT systems are experiencing ‘significant disruptions’ that are likely caused by a ransomware attack.

“Early indications suggest operational inconsistencies across its digital infrastructure and certain systems have been rendered inoperative while others continue to function as normal,” the county announced.

Discovered on Tuesday morning, the incident has affected tax payments and online property, marriage license, and inmate search systems, and the county decided to close all Assessment, Collection, and Recorder of Deeds offices at its physical locations until the issue is addressed.

“Jackson County offices will be closed April 3rd as we work through updating our system from the ransomware attack. Check back tomorrow for more information on opening and closures of county offices,” a red notice on the county’s website reads.

Jackson County disclosed the incident on the same day that voters were called to polls to cast ballots on several issues, including the authorization of tax funding for a new Kansas City Royals and Chiefs stadium. The stadium tax failed.

“It’s important to note that the Kansas City Board of Elections and Jackson County Board of Elections are not impacted by the system outage,” Jackson County noted in its incident notification.

The county says that law enforcement has been notified of the attack and that security experts have been contracted to assist with investigating and remedying the situation.

“The integrity of our digital network and the confidentiality of resident data is the County’s top priority. At this time, we do not have any information suggesting that any data has been compromised,” the county said.

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“While the investigation considers ransomware as a potential cause, comprehensive analyses are underway to confirm the exact nature of the disruption,” it added.

The county says it took immediate steps to contain the incident and that restoration operations are underway.

Also home to part of Kansas City, Jackson County is one of the largest counties in Missouri, with more than 700,000 residents.

Related: Georgia’s Largest County Is Still Repairing Damage From January Cyberattack

Related: A Cyber Breach Delays Poll Worker Training in Mississippi’s Largest County Before the Statewide Vote

Related: $1.1M Paid to Resolve Ransomware Attack on California County

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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