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Jackson County, Mo., Struck by Ransomware Attack

The assessment, collection and recorder of deeds offices remain shuttered as the city updates systems following the cybersecurity incident.

A city skyline in red and black with warning symbols overlayed on the image.
Jackson County, Mo., has closed some government offices after a ransomware attack, the county announced via X. The assessment, collection and recorder of deeds offices remain shuttered as the city updates systems after the incident.

The county first announced on Tuesday that systems were down at a courthouse and in its personal property office. It did not reveal the cause, but later that day, another announcement said the county found significant disruptions within its IT systems that had left some inoperative, including those for tax payments, marriage licenses and inmate searches.

The county ultimately deemed it a ransomware attack.

County Executive Frank White, Jr. declared a state of emergency as a proactive measure to give the county more flexibility to respond to the incident. That includes allowing government to waive competitive bidding requirements in order to make rapid procurements. The executive order also instructed county staff to “take whatever steps are necessary to protect resident data, county assets and continue essential services.”

“This incident reinforces why it is critical to maintain our emergency reserves and why these funds are indispensable in times of crisis,” White said in a statement. “Allocating resources for robust cybersecurity measures is not only about protecting our data but also about safeguarding the public trust. Today more than ever, it is clear that such investments are essential and prudent.”

The county emphasized that the City Board of Elections and Jackson County Board of Elections were unaffected by the incident. Additionally, the county itself avoids storing sensitive financial data on its own systems, instead using a vendor called PayIt to handle payments for marriage licenses, property taxes and other matters, the county said on social media. PayIt said in a statement that the myJacksonCounty system it uses for such functions was unaffected.