The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS (UG) has been working assess and remediate the recent cybersecurity attack.
The UG developed the following FAQ to help dispel some of the myths and rumors that they see being published recently.
What exactly happened?
On April 16, the UG discovered a cybersecurity attack to its data centers during routine maintenance of its systems. This did not impact online or cloud-based services such as our website as it targeted on-premise servers. Out of an abundance of caution, many UG servers were shut down to isolate the issue during an assessment of the impact.
The rapid response of the Department of Technology Services quickly contained the attack. Federal cybersecurity authorities were notified within hours of the attack’s discovery. The Unified Government brought in additional private sector cybersecurity resources to assist with preventing repeat attacks, identifying and removing any malicious software, and strengthening cybersecurity posture of the UG. No additional attacks have been identified since the April 16 event.
Was this a ransomware attack?
The details of the nature of the cybersecurity attack will be disclosed once the full assessment is complete. As noted above, until we have fully assessed the threat, we do not want to inadvertently expose our organization to further attacks.
What is happening now?
In partnership with federal and state authorities and our technology partners, we are finishing a thorough investigation of what was impacted by the attack.
There has been speculation on social media about data breaches, but the examples offered by the public are not related to systems impacted by this threat. There is an active investigation into the attack, and we do not want to release information that may inadvertently hamper the investigation.
My internet and/or phone service is slow. Is this cybersecurity threat to blame?
No, these are not services that the Unified Government provides to the county of Wyandotte as these utilities are provided by private companies.
What Unified Government departments/services were impacted?
Departments that work closely with the state, such as Motor Vehicles, had to delay services as connections to state databases were shut down to protect data. Motor Vehicle connection to state systems has been restored and services are being restarted and the backlog of received transactions processed. The UG maintains a running list of service impacts on our website as this is a fluid situation. The connections to state databases are being restored already and most departments have maintained normal operations.
The Unified Government has been moving to replace on-premise systems with Software-as-a-Service (SAS) solutions for several years. As a result, many of the systems that residents utilize for information and transactions remained functional as did internal functions such as email. Services that were impacted are being brought back online in a safe and secure manner.
Can I email or call the Unified Government?
Yes! We are here and ready to serve you. 3-1-1 has remained operational throughout the incident.
Can I pay my property taxes online?
No, you currently cannot pay your property taxes online. However, you can drop-off your payment to the Wyandotte County Courthouse (710 N. 7th Street, Second Floor). Please check our website tomorrow for updates.
Can I renew my motor vehicle tags?
Yes, you can still submit your renewal online through the myWyco app, drop-off or mail registrations and renewals. If we have processed the renewal in our system, customers will display as “current” when their tags are run (even without the updated sticker). Motor Vehicles is getting caught up on all renewals with about a one business day turnaround on tags.
When will I be able to be serviced regarding my new title registration?
Customers are now able to go online to book new title registration appointments with appointments resuming Friday, April 29, 2022. With the current backlog while systems were on pause, we anticipate that appointments will fill-up quickly. We appreciate your patience as appointment times may be subject to change.
Is the Appraiser’s Office still holding hearings?
The Appraiser’s Office is still holding appeals on all applications received prior to the April 14, 2022, deadline.
Are any Appraisal decisions being made at this time?
Currently no decisions are being made until we are able to fully finalize the full impact of the impacted services.
When is the anticipated timeframe all impacted services will be back to normal operations?
Updates will be provided as they are available on wycokck.org. Please continue to check our website for the latest information on impacted services and the resumption of normal operations for affected departments.
Were any resident records or information leaked in this attack?
We will better understand the full nature of the threat as the investigation progresses. Please stay tuned for more information.
Protecting your data in the information age should always be a priority and we appreciate how not knowing the details behind recent headlines can be scary. The federal government provides many resources on protecting your identity and personal information which encourage everyone to follow. Check out this guide on protecting your personal data: Protect Your Personal Information and Data | Consumer Advice (ftc.gov)