Ransomware attack may cause partial disruption in Jackson County

Jackson County’s assessment, collections and recorder of deeds offices were closed Tuesday morning due to computer malfunctions, which the county said could be attributed to some form of cyberattack.

Other county systems were not affected. The issue also had no effect on the Jackson County or Kansas City election boards that day.

The county said the disruptions were possibly attributable to a ransomware attack, which is when malicious actors take control of computer systems and demand a ransom before giving up that control.

“Early indications suggest operational inconsistencies within its digital infrastructure and some systems have become inoperable while others continue to operate normally,” the county said in a press release.

Affected systems included those that handled tax payments and online property data searches, marriage licenses and inmate searches at the county detention center.

“At this time, we do not have any information to suggest that any data has been compromised,” the county said. “We are currently in the early stages of our diagnostic procedures, working closely with our cybersecurity partners to thoroughly explore all possibilities and identify the root cause of the situation.

“While the investigation is considering ransomware as a potential cause, extensive analysis is underway to confirm the exact nature of the disruption,” according to the county statement.

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