VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — Investigations are underway at more than 20 government entities across Texas that were subject to a coordinated ransomware attack.
Reports of computer hacking involving ransomware began coming in from cities and agencies across Texas on Friday, Aug. 16th, 2019.
“There were several Texas agencies that were affected by it, why, I can only assume somebody is wanting some money, like in any ransomware-type situation,” Vernon Police Chief Randy Agan said. “I haven’t been (informed), what the amount is or if a request had been made.”
Just a few days after the initial attack, the Vernon Police Department found itself under attack.
“Monday morning about 2:30 a.m. my computers were hit with what we’ve identified as a ransomware virus which has shutdown our system for the time being,” Agan said.
The chief said this shutdown has not affected their day to day police operations but it has made them go old school.
“Handwritten reports we have to go in and fill in all of the pre-detects boxes and stuff on our reports that we have that the computers automatically fill in for us,” Agan said. “So, it’s a little bit more in-depth and it’s a little bit more repetitive because we don’t have the master main files or the list of our charges.”
Vernon wasn’t the only Texoma agency affected, the Graham Police Department was also affected. Below is a statement that was sent by department officials to Texoma’s Homepage:
“Due to having a qualified officer assigned to information/technology here at the police department, the damage to our system was limited compared to what other agencies are reporting. Based upon the current state of the forensic investigation, it appears that no personal information on the Graham Police Department’s system was compromised.”Graham Police Department
As the investigation continues, the hope is that various state and federal agencies responding to the incident can find who is responsible and get this corrected.
Graham police officials also said their computer system is in service and operational. As of right now, it is unknown when Vernon’s will be back up.