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TAD to hold emergency meeting Monday to address ransomware attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime | #hacking | #aihp

The Tarrant Appraisal District will hold an emergency board meeting March 25 after a criminal ransomware attack disrupted the agency’s network March 21, causing the website to crash.

The district has taken steps to secure the network and is working with cybersecurity experts to investigate, respond and restore the network, it said in a press release.

The incident was reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Information Resources.

The website is now live again, but emails and phone lines remain down.

Appraisal board member Alan Blaylock, who is also a Fort Worth City Council member, said board members anticipate receiving more detailed information at the March 25 meeting.

“I think that the chief appraiser and the new team are going to great pains to communicate all they can as they are able,” Blaylock said, “and I expect that there will be significant communication coming forward early next week as investigations into what happened continue.”

This is the second criminal cyberattack on the appraisal district’s website. In October 2022, a security breach potentially exposed sensitive taxpayer information. However, the final report found that data was not stolen.

Ransomware attacks were on the rise in 2023, according to data from the FBI. More than 2,800 complaints about ransomware were reported last year, including 156 from government facilities.

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