Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Massive Cyberattack Hits Dallas, Disables Police Dispatch System

'Our system went completely down ... '

(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) The latest in a series of suspect attacks on government agencies and public utilities unfolded in stunning fashion Wednesday when a massive cyberattack hit Dallas, Texas, impacting dozen of city services and knocking the police department’s website offline.

“Wednesday morning, the City’s security monitoring tools notified our Security Operations Center (SOC) that a likely ransomware attack had been launched within our environment,” city officials said in a statement. “Subsequently, the City has confirmed that a number of servers have been compromised with ransomware, impacting several functional areas, including the Dallas Police Department Website.”

Officials said police were forced to use its backup radio system to dispatch officers to 911, but there were no issues responding to calls.

The city’s website for water utilities was offline all day, while a computer system for processing records for the Dallas Court and Detention Services Department was down for hours.

“Our system went completely down so there’s not much we can see in terms of looking up people’s citations and traffic tickets,” one official told CNN, which “requested comment from the FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on the Dallas hack.”

The Dallas cyberattack comes after the U.S. set record highs under the Biden administration last year for the number of attacks on power substations and the electrical grid across the country, clocking in at 106 in a year-span.

That included an incident last December that saw vandals and arsonists attack four electrical substations in Washington state, leaving thousands without power as temperatures plunged. In North Carolina, attacks left power stations riddled with bullets and disabled, while two electrical substations were shot-up near Portland, Oregon.

While not as violent as those attacks, the ransomware cyberattack on Dallas was equally concerning.

“All the attacker has to do is find one loophole, whereas we’ve got to be 100% that there’s no such thing as 100% security yet,” Bhavani Thuraisingham, professor of computer science at UTD and director of the Cybersecurity Research Institute at UTD, told Fox4.

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