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Ransomware attack affects Dallas police and court websites


Dallas was hit by a ransomware attack on Wednesday that took down its police department and city hall websites and caused some jury trials to be thrown out, officials said.

The outage does not appear to have affected 911 calls. However, it did cause issues with a computer-assisted dispatch system that is used to help firefighters respond to emergency calls, the Dallas spokesperson said. Fire-Rescue, Jason Evans, at the Dallas Morning News.

“DFR has been operating on manual dispatch trades since early this morning,” Evans said.

Dallas Police Department Headquarters.
Dallas Police Department Headquarters.File Tony Gutierrez / AP

Ransomware involves hackers essentially holding a target computer or computer system hostage by encrypting its files and demanding payment, often via bitcoin. Ransomware can target individuals as well as businesses and governments.

In a statement, the city said the attack had only a limited impact on the delivery of city services.

“The city team, along with its vendors, are actively working to isolate the ransomware to prevent its spread, to remove the ransomware from infected servers, and to restore all currently affected services,” the statement read.

The city did not say whether any financial demands were actually made or provide other details about the incident.

The police department and city hall websites were down Wednesday afternoon, officials said, and the city court posted a notice on its website saying all trials and jury duty were canceled for the day. .

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.