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Ransomware is a type of malware in which hackers access files and encrypt them, demanding payment to restore access. Coverage includes ransomware attacks on cities, states, schools and public utilities, as well as legislative efforts to curb the threat and set policy on how to respond.

The group behind the March 21 cyber attack has published information it obtained on the dark web, the Tarrant Appraisal District said. People whose information has been compromised have been notified by mail.
The ransomware group Medusa claimed responsibility for a cyber attack earlier this month that disrupted the network at Traverse City Area Public Schools in Michigan and forced it to cancel classes for days.
At an event held by the Institute for Security and Technology, experts discussed why simply arresting ransomware developers isn’t enough to effectively combat this cybersecurity problem.
A public university in Las Vegas canceled classes this week after a ransomware attack targeted its student and staff portal for online classes, course materials, campus email, payroll and other systems.
The county is preparing for a soft launch of reopening the assessment, collection and recorder of deeds offices to the public on April 16, according to a new press release from officials.
The Missouri county’s assessment, collections and recorder of deeds offices were closed Monday as officials worked to restore computer systems impacted in last week’s attack. Other systems and taxpayer data were not compromised.
The new ransomware attack threatened the university's cybersecurity defenses last week, resulting in canceled classes and disruptions in employee payroll systems.
The March 21 attack impacts information from about 300 people, the Tarrant Appraisal District said. The district’s legal council has said hackers have asked for $700,000. Portions of the district website remain offline; it has not paid the ransom.
Some city sources have attributed a cyber incident in early March to ransomware, although the municipality has only called it a “network disruption.” Birmingham is using paper-based processes to pay staff, but public effects may be more minor.
Some property-related offices in Jackson County, Mo., were closed Tuesday due to computer malfunctions. A ransomware attack, the county said in a statement, is “a potential cause,” but no data currently appears to have been compromised.