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Trans-Rights Hacktivists Steal City of Ft. Worth's Data

In a move to embarrass the city, hacking group known as SiegedSec accessed thousands of files with administrator logins, but it's making no ransom demands.

Dark Reading Staff

June 27, 2023

2 Min Read
image of a Fort Worth city skyline.
Source: James Kirkikis via Alamy Stock Photo

In a security breach first discovered on June 23, Fort Worth, a north Texas city that has more than 935,000 residents, announced that hacktivist threat actors gained unauthorized access to its data.

The group claiming responsibility for the cyberattack, SiegedSec, said it was carried out for political reasons. Specifically, what it deemed to be recent anti-transgender legislation in the state of Texas, stating, "Texas happens to be one of the largest states banning gender affirming care, and for that, we have made Texas our target."

The hacking group publicly claimed in a post that it had accessed around a half-million files containing materials such as police reports, employee/contractor emails, internal documents, work orders, employee lists, and a great deal more. SiegedSec allegedly did so by stealing administrator credentials in order to access city data, the stolen amount of which totals around 180GB.

With a list of links, the post went on to say, "We have uploaded this leak in 10 different links, each containing 20GB of government files (except the last one). If any links go down, we assure we'll have it up again very soon[.]"

In a press conference on the same day of the hack, city CTO Kevin Gunn confirmed the attack.

"The City of Fort Worth has confirmed that the posted information did originate from our computer systems," he said. "However, that data came from a website that our workers use to manage their maintenance activities and not from the city's public-facing intranet website. It appears the hackers downloaded file attachments to work orders within the system and those attachments include things like photographs, spreadsheets, invoices for work performed, emails between staff, PDF documents and other related materials for work orders."

Though it is unknown how the group managed to steal login information, Gunn claims that there was no indication that sensitive information was released and there was no ransom demand made, but rather that the group's intent was to make a political statement. 

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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