Apr 16, 2024 - News

Hackers post sensitive information on dark web

Illustration of a fish hook surrounded by multiple cursors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A hacking group claiming responsibility for attacking the Tarrant Appraisal District network has reportedly posted some of the stolen information on the dark web.

Why it matters: About 15 million people lost $23 million last year to traditional identity theft, per an AARP report.

The big picture: Medusa has claimed responsibility in the past for attacks on Toyota Financial Services, a Kenyan airline and several school districts.

  • The attacks are typically followed by ransom demands and threats to post sensitive information online.
  • Ransomware gangs collected a record $1.1 billion from attacks in 2023.

What happened: The Tarrant Appraisal District identified a "network disruption" on March 21. Its website was partially down for a few weeks while officials investigated the attack and tried to restore access.

  • Hackers demanded $700,000 from the district, according to the Star-Telegram.
  • The website's search features have been restored, but investigators found that "the legally protected personal information" of up to 300 people was compromised during the attack.

Threat level: Some of the district's forms ask for driver's license information, a Social Security number or federal tax ID number, per the Star-Telegram.

  • The homestead exemption form also requires a copy of the applicant's ID, along with their date of birth and contact information.
  • The district's website has appraisal information for the public to access, but it doesn't include personal information collected through the exemption process.

What's next: The Tarrant Appraisal District said in a statement that it's working on bolstering its network security and has notified the people whose information is believed to be stolen.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Dallas stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more