23 Texas Cities Hit by Ransomware

Are cities ready to do anything about this yet? New ransomware strike kicks 23 Texas agencies offline.

That’s the regular media article, so it contains virtually no technical info. But that’s the state of the regular media. Well at almost the end of the article, they do quote ZDNet by mentioning Sodinokibi ransomware also known as REvil.

So let’s look at ZDNet: Over 20 Texas local governments hit in ‘coordinated ransomware attack’

The attack took place on Friday morning, August 16, US time, when several smaller local Texas governments reported problems with accessing their data to the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR).

Texas does have a statewide office for dealing with this crap, so at least there is someone for the impacted cities to call, but being hit by 23 cities at one time is going to stretch their resources. (That’s a guess on my part BTW.) And in a statement that surprises no one, this is all the result of a single bad person or group.

There are some indications that the OSTAP Trojan is how this thing moved around in the networks.

UPDATE: Lubbock County was also targeted, but was able to contain the ransomware fairly early on, and was not impacted. The Texas DIR reports that about one quarter of the towns hit in this attack have been able to resume operations. Via ARS Technica.

I am still trying to find some info on how this attack got into 20 plus cities/counties at the same time. At a guess, I would say phishing. The bad guys formulated an email, pretended to be from someone people working for cities and counties in Texas would trust. (Someone from the state, or an association of mayors or something.) And they were in with either TrickBot or OSTAP Trojan. (Both of those are often found together.) But the FBI likes to limit any information coming out while they investigate, though most of the “press people” from the cities wouldn’t understand the technical side of things, even if the DIR/Tech support folks had time to brief them.


Texans Are Still Armed. Home Invaders Still Getting Shot.

This isn’t New Jersey, after all. Nacogdoches police arrest suspect shot by homeowner during early morning robbery.

The Nacogdoches homeowner says two male subjects forced entry into the home. The homeowner stated one of the burglars was seen to be armed with a pistol.

The homeowner fired a shot at one of the burglars. Both subjects then ran out of the home.

Police arrested a guy a short time later, who showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound.

Self-defense is human-right, and in Texas it seems to be your legal right. (Investigation continues.)

Apparently the 4th Amendment Isn’t Quite Dead

Though it seems like police would like to assume that it was completely dead. Judge rules to suppress search of Port Arthur murder suspect’s home, portion of interrogation recording.

Judge West ruled that in going to the backdoor without a warrant police actually “trespassed in violation of the Fourth Amendment as well as established case law.”

In the ruling West explained that the Fourth Amendment and case law hold that an officer without a warrant has the right to approach a home and knock “no more than any private citizen might do.”

West also explained in the ruling that case law also holds that typically any visitor is permitted to “approach the home by the front path, knock promptly, wait briefly to be received, and then (absent an invitation to linger) leave.”

There’s more on the requirements for recording an interview with a suspect.

Now you would think that cops would know what they can and cannot do under the 4th Amendment. And maybe they do. But they don’t seem to care, and they don’t seem to expect to be called to account on it. Because in the War on (Some) Drugs™ anything goes, even if it destroys our rights.

Texas, Self-defense, and Puppies

This is Texas, and so self-defense is understood, but the rest of the story has me at Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. Man shot in the face during fight over puppies, police say.

Investigators believe the man went to a home, pulled out a gun, demanded the puppies and was shot by the homeowner in self defense.

The guy who got shot is expected to be OK, but things could have been very bad for him.

Texans still armed. Bad guys still getting shot. This makes less sense than usual.

Texans Are Still Armed, Home-invaders Still Getting Shot

Two guys decide it’s a good idea to rob a home in Texas. Police: North Texas homeowner shot armed suspect during robbery attempt.

Two guys, one of whom was armed, show up at a home in Texas on Sunday afternoon.

That’s when police say the homeowner got his gun, and shot one of the suspects. The second suspect then immediately fled the scene.

The guy who got shot is in a local hospital. The investigation is ongoing.

Self-defense is a human-right.

Did He Think He Was in New Jersey?

This is Texas, where the bad-guys get shot on a regular basis. Business clerk shoots man in suspected robbery attempt.

A man was shot late Wednesday night during a robbery attempt at a Waco business after the store’s clerk returned fire at the robbery suspect, Waco police said.

The details of this case, which is more complicated than usual, is worth a few minutes of your time. Click thru.

The result in a nutshell: The bad guy got shot. (He’s in a local hospital.) No money was taken. The robbery is on video. (It hasn’t been released to the media yet.) And the good guy was not harmed.

Self-defense is a human-right. And in Texas, your legal right.

Cop Sent to do “Welfare Check” Kills Woman

Because he apparently doesn’t know all the rules of safe gun handling. “Be sure of your target, and what is beyond,” is an important one. Body-cam footage shows Arlington officer fatally shooting woman as he fires at dog.

I would say he also needs some marksmanship training, but he won’t get it. He won’t be fired, or fined, or endure anything more than a few weeks of “administrative leave” (what most people call paid time off) or “modified duty” where he sits on his ass in the office. At least he won’t be a menace to the public for a while. Not long enough.