Jackson County Declares State of Emergency Following Ransomware Attack


Jackson County, Missouri, finds itself in a state of emergency after a ransomware attack disrupted several county services on Tuesday.

Confirming the incident, Jackson County stated, "Jackson County has confirmed a ransomware attack was responsible for the disruption of several county services today."

Affected by the attack are the Assessment, Collection, and Recorder of Deeds offices across all county locations, which are expected to remain closed until the end of the week. The county's IT department is diligently working on restoring systems related to tax payments, marriage licenses, and inmate searches that were impacted by the incident.

However, reassuringly, the Kansas City Board of Elections and Jackson County Board of Elections remain unaffected by the system outage.

Law enforcement, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, has been notified, and external IT security experts are engaged in investigating the attack.

In response to the situation, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. declared a state of emergency to facilitate expedited IT measures, activate emergency workers, and fortify defences against ransomware threats.

Ensuring the protection of resident data and county assets, White stated, "All county staff are to take whatever steps are necessary to protect resident data, county assets, and continue essential services, thereby mitigating the impact of" the ransomware attack.

Furthermore, the County Administrator is tasked with assessing the need for appropriations from the County’s emergency fund and identifying additional financial adjustments to address the fiscal requirements imposed by the emergency.

County officials have affirmed that the compromised systems did not store residents' financial data. Jackson County utilizes the Payit payment service provider, which securely manages all myjacksonCounty account data outside of the county's network.

Emphasizing their commitment to data security, Jackson County officials stated, "In its commitment to protect residents, Jackson County prioritizes the security of sensitive financial information and does not keep any such data on its systems."

Additionally, the county collaborates with Payit to offer resident engagement and payment services, ensuring that the myjacksonCounty system remains unaffected by the incident and customer data remains secure.

Jackson County encompasses most of Kansas City, the largest city in Missouri, along with 17 other cities and towns, housing approximately 718,000 residents within its 616 square miles.