Coordinated ransomware attacks in Texas

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The attacks follow recent state and local ransomware attacks in New York, Louisiana, Maryland and Florida resulted in the loss of significant sums in ransom demands to criminals or in repairs for the damage they produced. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered a “Level 2 Escalated Response” on Friday following the incident. According to state emergency management planning guide, this means “the scope of the emergency has expanded beyond that which can be handled by local responders. Normal state and local government operations may be impaired.”

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Cybersecurity experts have been deployed by the state to assess the damage. The ransomware responsible for the infections across the 23 local Texas governments was the more well-known Sodinokibi (REvil) ransomware strain. Authorities have not yet determined who was responsible for the attack. Texas is being assisted by numerous federal and state agencies, including FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, Texas A&M’s Information Technology and Electronic Crime Unit and the Texas Military Department, which includes branches of the National Guard. In July, the governor of Louisiana declared a state emergency after a similar coordinated ransomware attack hit several school districts.

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