Sheriff’s Office Fails to Report Ransomware Attack Responsible for Lost Evidence

Texas Sheriff’s Office in Hot Water After Failure to Disclose Ransomware

In 2017, the Hidalgo Sheriff’s Office suffered a ransomware attack by an unknown variant.  According to officials, the infection riddled one of their external computers, leaving internal networks unimpacted.  The Sheriff’s Office was able to restore the computer using backup files; however, those files were not updated.  Therefore, all of the evidence uploaded to the computer after the last backup was lost.

The evidence lost was related to a sexual assault case and included messages between the victim and two witnesses to the attack.  However, according to the lead investigator, Marco Antonio Mandujano, the evidence lost would not have impacted the case.  Now whether or not this is entirely true, could be left up for debate, as there is speculation Mandujano is trying to cover his own tracks.  Why?  Because he was the investigator who, along with the IT technican, failed to report the cyber attack.

According to The Monitor, public records requests have been sent to Hidalgo Sheriff’s Office regarding when the ransomware attack took place, and what other evidence may have been impacted.  Both requests have been responded to with claims that no information is available to share with the public.

Both, timely backup and cyber incident reporting practices are now in place, in an attempt to avoid history repeating itself.

 

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