Belton, Mo., Police Respond to Malware Attack on Network


(TNS) — A disruption of computer systems maintained by the Belton Police Department has prompted authorities to review its cybersecurity and investigate whether sensitive personal information was compromised, the police chief said Friday.

Computer systems within the police department’s network were recently found to have encrypted malware that prevented access to certain digital files and other services used by department employees, Belton Police Chief Scott Lyons said in a statement.

“We immediately isolated and disconnected those systems from the network as a precaution, notified the FBI and launched an investigation with the assistance of a forensic firm,” Lyons said.

The chief added that the systems involved appeared to only contain public information. But he said the department will provide notice and identity monitoring services in the event personal information leaked out.

The department has restored the operational functions of its computers by using backup systems that were unaffected.

Malware is a tool often used by hackers to gain access to sensitive information. Governmental entities have increasingly become targets of cyber attacks in recent years.

Last month, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/ Kansas City, Kansas reported that a cybersecurity attack caused computer systems to be taken offline. The attack led to many government services being shutdown and some systems — including the payments of property taxes — remained down as of last week.

©2022 The Kansas City Star, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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