Cyberattack causes widespread system outage in Texarkana

Texarkana

TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Authorities in Texarkana are investigating a ransomware attack that caused a wide-spread system outage Sunday and has left city and county employees locked out of their computers.

“Both cities and counties, the Bowie County and Arkansas and Texas, our IT department is held in Texarkana, water utilities, we’ve had a ransom attack that’s knocked our systems down. We don’t have an internet feed,” said Texarkana, Arkansas Mayor Allen Brown.

Authorities so far, there have not been any demands for money threats communicated about publishing personal information and data. Texarkana, Texas, and Bowie County officials are not sure what to call it, but Texarkana, Arkansas is calling it a ransomware attack.

“It may be, but all we know at this point is that there was some sort of cyber attack or outside agent that hacked into our system,” said Bowie County, Texas Judge Bobby Howell.

Employees’ day-to-day work life has been shifted by the attack.

“Data that we back up on a daily basis is impacted. It makes it harder to do our jobs but it’s still possible,” said Texarkana, Texas PIO Lisa Thompson.

City employees in Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas, along with Bowie County employees are being told to leave their computers off until investigators determine the source.

“You know, it’s just kind of your back-up is to go back to what I call the old days because you still have to pay your bills. You still have to pay your employees. So we’re reverting kind of in manual mode right now,” said Brown.

Officials say business will be conducted by pen and paper for at least a week. If you need anything immediate like a marriage license, you can visit surrounding counties like Cass or Titus.

Emergency services like 911 are not impacted.

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