Jacksonville Beach and other US municipalities report data breaches following cyberattacks


Thousands of people have had their information accessed by hackers following attacks on several state and local governments in recent months, according to new regulatory documents.

The Jacksonville Beach city government was the last to report such an incident, disclose As of Wednesday evening, 48,949 people had access to personal information in a January cyberattack. In letters to victims, the city said the names and Social Security numbers were obtained by the hackers.

“On or about January 29, 2024, (the City of Jacksonville Beach) began experiencing information system issues as a result of a cybersecurity event,” the city said, noting that the investigation is ongoing. was completed at the end of February.

“This investigation has determined that certain files in COJB’s systems were subject to unauthorized access and that information may have been extracted from the network between January 22, 2024 and January 29, 2024. As a result, COJB has initiated a careful examination of the data stored in these files to determine what type of information they contained and to whom this information relates.

In February, the attack was claims by the LockBit ransomware gang. In a separate declaration On the city’s website Wednesday, officials acknowledged the post and confirmed they were still working with federal law enforcement on the investigation.

The attack caused days of problems for the city government, eliminating its email system and requiring officials to accept payments in person for energy services and more. Emergency services and waste management services were not affected, the city said.

“While we have experienced some challenges with our accounting functions, I want to reassure our employees and suppliers that we can process pension pay and employee payroll. We are also making progress in restoring our ability to pay vendors, albeit in a limited way,” the city council said last month.

A national issue

The disclosure from Jacksonville Beach follows the announcement from another Florida city, Pensacola. a cyber attack earlier in the week, causing problems for the local government. It is the 21st U.S. municipality to announce a crippling cyberattack this year, according to cybersecurity experts.

Dallas, which was hit by a ransomware attack last year, this week updated the number of people whose data was stolen in the incident to 26,499.

“The change in the number of affected Texans is based on the completion of all forensic accounting activities of the breach and no further updates or changes are expected,” a Dallas government spokesperson told Recorded Future News.

The Colorado government also provided an update on its own ransomware incident last month affecting the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. The incident began on February 9 when parts of their system were “locked down by malware.”

They shut down systems to try to contain the attack and began notifying the public on February 11.

The hackers – who have not yet been able to publicly identify themselves – gained access to names, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, ID card numbers, other numbers government identification, medical information and health insurance identification numbers.

All public defenders were locked out of state systems in the days following the attack, preventing them from accessing records.

In the statement provided Friday by the office, officials said “some administrative functions” had been recovered, but were vague about concerns that the attack could affect representation provided to those charged.

“If cases are affected, we will work to reschedule clients’ hearings and trials to ensure they receive full and effective representation,” they said, noting that trial postponements will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. per case.

The office did not say whether the outage would result in mistrials, saying only that its goal “remains to protect the integrity of the judiciary and will address matters on a case-by-case basis.”

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