Some cities recovered from ransomware attack

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The reason for this is that the ransomware attacks targeted over 20 local state governments. It didn't name the affected cities or provide details about the attacker's demands.

State-owned systems and networks haven't been affected, the agency said.

A "coordinated" ransomware attack hit 23 towns across Texas late last week, according to the state's Department of Information Resources. Sources say that the number of affected local governments are reduced to twenty-two from the earlier estimate of twenty-three. "At this time, we're not yet naming impacted entities so as to not make them a target for other potential bad actors", a DIR spokesperson said in an email.

A total of 23 entities have been hit by the ransomware attacks. Federal prosecutors a year ago indicted two Iranian men for ransomware attacks on more than 200 victims, including the cities of Atlanta and Newark, N.J., that netted them more than $6 million and cost the affected governments and companies more than $30 million. However, it did say that "investigations into the origin of this attack are ongoing", but that "response and recovery are the priority at this time".

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In its statement posted Monday, Borger officials said the attack took place Friday and prevented employees from accepting payments and accessing vital records, including birth and death certificates.

Local government bodies are coming under increasing attack in the U.S., with cyber-criminals betting correctly that poor security practices and under-funding have left them particularly exposed to ransomware. Lake City and Riviera Beach paid out over one million dollars total to the attackers to release the data stored in the city systems.

Texas meanwhile has drafted in cyber-security experts, as well as the military and counter-terrorism units, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; Texas Military Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; as well as the Department of Homeland Security; the FBI; and other Federal cybersecurity partners. However, the authorities clarified that Texas network systems were not affected in the incident.

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