State officials in Texas confirmed that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been hijacked by ransomware, with one town's mayor saying the hackers are demanding $2.5 million.
The Texas Department of Information Resources suggested "one single threat actor" may be responsible.
Mayor Gary Heinrich of the town of Keene said the attackers infiltrated information technology software used by the city and overseen by an outsourced provider, which supports many of the targeted cities.
Recorded Future threat intelligence analyst Allan Liska said this event, the largest coordinated hack of its kind so far observed, "does present a new front in the ransomware attack."
Research firm Recorded Future noted the increasing frequency of ransomware attacks targeting state and local government, detecting at least 169 cases since 2013.
Liska said more than 60 such attacks have taken place this year alone.
From National Public Radio
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