spreading cyber attack (fotogestoeber/Shutterstock.com)

Public-sector software provider reportedly hit with ransomware

Tyler Technologies, one of the largest suppliers of software solutions to state and local governments, seems to have suffered a ransomware attack, according to a report by Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity.

The company provides software and services for over 15,000 local government offices in all 50 states. It supplies end-to-end IT management services for tax offices, the courts, public safety departments, records management offices and school transportation officials.

On Sept. 23, pages on the Tyler’s website were first replaced with a notice saying the site was offline and that the company “is in the process of responding to a security incident involving unauthorized access to our internal phone and information technology systems by an unknown third party.”

“Upon discovery and out of an abundance of caution, we shut down points of access to external systems and immediately began investigating and remediating the problem,” Tyler CIO Matt Bieri told Krebs. “We have since engaged outside IT security and forensics experts to conduct a detailed review and help us securely restore affected equipment. We are implementing enhanced monitoring systems, and we have notified law enforcement.”

According to Krebs, who heard from several readers who are local government IT managers, the outage disrupted residents’ ability to pay their water bills or court payments.

An July 2019 attack on Portland-based PM Consultants Inc., a managed service provider that supplies software and storage to dental offices, ended up shutting down the company, according to a report by ProPublica. A ransomware attack on TSM Consulting Services Inc. crippled law enforcement offices in 22 cities and towns in Texas, and an attack on PerCSoft locked 400 dental practices around the country out of their electronic files, the report said.

“Depending on how long it takes for Tyler to recover from this incident, it could have a broad impact on the ability of many states and localities to process payments for services or provide various government resources online,” Krebs wrote.

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