Fort Worth

City of Fort Worth internal computer system hacked in apparent political stunt

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the city of Fort Worth, an investigation is underway. Computer forensic experts are combing the city’s computer systems to find out just how much was stolen in a hack discovered on Friday.

“It appears the hackers downloaded file attachments to work orders within the system,” said I.T. Solutions Director Kevin Gunn.

Gunn said the group SeigedSec targeted an internal system used to manage maintenance activities, stealing and publicly posting hundreds of files including photographs of street repairs, spreadsheets, invoices for work performed and emails between staff.

“The data contained in the amount of information that we’ve been able to go through has not been sensitive in nature. And by and large, it’s information that we would release through a public information act request,” he said.

Gunn said the attack is believed to be a political statement with the intent to embarrass the city.

According to the city, in its post, the hacking group included the message, “We have decided to make a message towards 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.”

This attack comes as the city of Dallas continues to recover from a ransomware attack in May that crippled several departments.

It also follows news that staff of North Texas-based air carriers, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines were notified this week about a data leak through a third-party vendor. Both airlines said it was a service responsible for pilot hiring and recruitment portals.

While not connected, the cases shine a light on what cybersecurity expert Randy Haba recently told NBC 5 is a need for increased vigilance.

“It’s going to become more of a thing where we have to enforce cybersecurity training, awareness,” said Haba.

Especially, he said, as technology advances.

In Fort Worth, the investigation continues.

“It’s a really fluid situation right now. We are less than 24 hours from the point that we got notified. We’re still reviewing all of the information that was included and what the potential impact of releasing that information might be,” said Gunn.

The city is now working with both local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Gunn said there’s no evidence yet showing that citizen or employee personal information was compromised.

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