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Social Security Numbers Compromised in Wichita Cyber Attack

Hackers who breached Wichita, Kan., police and traffic records were able to access residents’ personal information, including names, Social Security numbers and driver's licenses. Since then, the city’s network has remained down.

(TNS) — Wichita police and traffic records were compromised in the ransomware attack on city government, giving hackers access to an unspecified number of people's personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses and other state IDs, and payment card information, the city announced Tuesday.

"As part of our thorough review and assessment of this matter, we identified that certain files were copied from our computer network without permission between May 3 and 4, 2024," the city said in a news release.

Wichita took its computer systems offline on May 5 to stop the spread of malware, and the network remains down. The Eagle reported last week that LockBit, a Russian cyber criminal group, had claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened to dump personal data from the city site on the dark web.

Officials have declined to say whether LockBit or any other hacker group has contacted the city about a ransom. According to a recently unsealed federal indictment, LockBit is known to demand multimillion dollar payouts in BitCoin.

"We identified that this matter is related to a recently disclosed security vulnerability that affects organizations throughout the world," the city release states. "Our technical teams have been working around the clock to put the mitigation measures in place to resolve the issue. Further, we are coordinating with law enforcement to investigate this matter further.

"In the last week, we have made great strides in our recovery efforts and look forward to resuming full operations."

The ransomware attack has disrupted many departments' operations, resulting in the city offering free bus rides "until further notice" and pausing water shutoffs due to non-payment while the online payment system remains inaccessible.

WPD's online arrest reports and crime blotter have not been updated since May 3 and 4, respectively. A city spokesperson declined to provide any additional information about what police records were taken in the attack, including whether any internal records, such as investigative files, were copied by hackers.

"At this time, the information on is all I am able to confirm," Megan Lovely said in an email.


The city release outlines a number of free resources available to residents who want to keep tabs on personal information and monitor any suspicious activity on their accounts.

Under federal law, U.S. consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit reports can be ordered at or by calling the toll-free number 1-877-322-8228.

Consumers can also place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on a credit file at no cost. When a fraud alert has been placed on a consumer's credit file, businesses are required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If a consumer has been a victim of identity theft, they are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which lasts for seven years. Fraud alerts can be placed by contacting any of the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Consumers also have the right to place a "credit freeze" on their report at no cost, prohibiting a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express permission. This mechanism is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in a consumer's name without consent.

Credit bureau contact information:

©2024 The Wichita Eagle, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.