Fort Worth, Texas – The City of Fort Worth has recently been thrust into the unenviable spotlight as the latest victim of a cyber-attack, allegedly carried out in response to the state’s positioning on the issue of gender-affirming care.
The cyber malefactors, authorities believe, surreptitiously breached and siphoned off data from a specific website utilized internally for the tracking of city work orders. Despite the severity of the situation, city officials have given assurances that no sensitive or confidential information has been compromised in the incursion.
The City of Fort Worth has been hacked on Friday, June 23
This cyber onslaught was brought to light on June 23 when an ominous post hinting at the successful hacking of the city’s website was brought to the attention of the City’s Information Technology Solutions Department. The ensuing investigation unveiled that the data pilfered and subsequently publicized online originated from an internal tool, and not from the city’s publicly accessible website.
In a press briefing on the following day, Kevin Gunn, the city’s Director of IT Solutions, sought to clarify the specifics of the breach.
“The City of Fort Worth has confirmed that the posted information did originate from our computer systems, however the data came from a website that our workers use to manage their maintenance activities. Not from the city’s public facing internet website,” said Kevin Gunn, Fort Worth’s IT Solutions Director, during a news conference Saturday.
Further adding to the complexity of the breach, the authorities surmise that the hackers were able to access this internal site by pilfering the necessary credentials, presumably belonging to city workers.
In a final turn of events, the city officials confirmed that the cyber intruders managed to download file attachments tied to the work orders present in the system. As the investigation continues, Fort Worth remains steadfast in its commitment to cyber security and the protection of its digital infrastructure.
“Those attachments include things like photographs, spreadsheets, invoices for work performed, PDF documents, emails between staff and other information related to work orders,” Gunn explained.
The Information Technology Department of Fort Worth has recently stated that any purloined data in the cyber-attack would be of a nature that the city would be ready to disclose under a Freedom of Information Act request, assuaging concerns of compromised privacy.
“No indication that any other systems were accessed, nor any other evidence of sensitive information such as social security or banking information was accessed or released,” said Gunn.
Who hacked the City of Fort Worth’s official website?
The city’s investigation has led officials to believe that the cyber-attack was orchestrated by the group known as SeigeSec. The information siphoned off during the attack was subsequently published on platforms like Telegram and Twitter.
Fort Worth’s analysis of the situation suggests that the group’s primary motive was to bring about public humiliation for the city.
The group’s post, as quoted by the city, reveals a political motive.
“We have decided to make a message toward the U.S. Government, Texas happens to be one of the largest states banning gender-affirming care and for that we have made Texas a target,” the post said, according to the City.
City of Fort Worth’s hacks comes shortly after City of Dallas was also hacked
This unwarranted data leak is the latest in a series of cyber-attacks impacting Texas, following a severe malware attack on the City of Dallas in May that disrupted the city’s online systems for weeks. Unlike the previous incident, this cyber onslaught has not been accompanied by a ransom demand. Moreover, Fort Worth’s IT department has found no signs of file encryption.
In response to the breach, the city’s IT department took prompt action by eliminating access to the compromised website.
“We have forced all the users to reset their passwords, and additionally we are continuing to review this volume of information to make sure we fully understand the scope and depth of this incident,” he said.
As of now, the city remains uncertain about how the perpetrators managed to obtain the login credentials or discern the specifics about the group and its precise motivations. The City of Fort Worth has enlisted the help of local law enforcement, federal agencies, and cyber forensic specialists in an exhaustive effort to investigate this incident and prevent such occurrences in the future.
The City of #Fort #Worth has become the most recent victim of #cyber #attack. Hackers allegedly targeted the city on the issue of gender-affirming care.https://t.co/zluCI7waLd#Dallas #DallasNews #Texas
— DallasMetro.news (@DallasMetroNews) June 27, 2023