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Jackson County blames Russian group for ransomware cyberattack; some systems still down

Troy Schulte.png
Posted at 5:58 PM, Apr 08, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Administrator Troy Schulte said Monday the county hopes to have all its computer services running as normal by Wednesday after a cyberattack last Tuesday, April 2.

Schulte, who held a Monday afternoon news conference, reminded Jackson County residents the county’s tax payment systems remain closed, so people should not come to either county courthouse to conduct that kind of business until everything is back in order.

Jackson County ransomware attack update April 8

He also assured residents the people behind the cyberattack did not collect any private information about taxpayers. Certain departments — like Assessment, Collection and Recorder of Deeds — that offer services like inmate searches and marriage licenses remain offline and unavailable.

This means some real estate agents and title companies are struggling to close real estate sales.

Many title companies told KSHB 41 News they’re adding extra paperwork to their closings, including a gap indemnity agreement. However, most lenders are allowing sales to continue despite not being able to immediately record deed sales at the county.

Schulte said cybersecurity is an ever-evolving priority of the county.

“You’re always in a race to make sure that you’ve got the latest up-to-date hardware and software and all your systems and protocols are in place,” Schulte said.

He said the investigation into the attack found a corrections employee clicked on a phishing email early last Tuesday morning, launching the virus in the county’s network.

Schulte said a Russian group is responsible for the ransomware attack.

Because residents cannot make tax payments as a result of the cyberattack, the county will waive all penalties and interest accumulated in April.

Additionally, the county wants to extend hours at the Collection Department to evenings and weekends to process payments once everything is back online.