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The Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, oversees Texas transportation and is headquartered in Austin. The Texas Legislature created the organization in 1917, although the agency has had several names throughout the past century.TxDOT is run by a five-member commission and an executive director selected by the commission. Commission members are appointed by the governor, with the advice of the Texas Senate, and serve overlapping six-year terms.The department is divided into 25 districts, each of which oversees construction and maintenance of state highways. Austin’s district includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson counties.In Austin, the organization encompasses entities including Capital Metro; the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, known as CAMPO; the city’s transportation department; and the chamber of commerce. TxDOT organized the “Don’t Mess with Texas” anti-litter campaign, which began in 1986. Also, it runs the TxTag program, which bills drivers for highway tolls by scanning a sticker on the driver’s windshield at toll stations.

TxDOT's Website Is Down In The Latest Ransomware Attack On Texas Agencies

I-35 in Austin in April. The Texas Department of Transportation experienced a ransomware attack last week.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
I-35 in Austin in April. The Texas Department of Transportation experienced a ransomware attack last week.

The Texas Department of Transportation's website is down because of a ransomware attack last week.

The department said it isolated the affected servers on Thursday in response to the attack, causing its website to go offline. 

In a statement Saturday afternoon, TxDOT Executive Director James Bass called the attack an "unfortunate incident" and said the agency is working with the FBI to investigate and prosecute those responsible. 

"We want every Texan to rest assured that we are doing everything we can to swiftly address this issue," Bass said. "We are also working to ensure critical operations continue during this interruption."

The attack comes a week after a similar attack on the state's Office of Court Administration. OCA's website is still offline because of that ransomware attack.

The two attacks are the latest in a rash of server attacks on Texas agencies within the last nine months. Last August, more than 20 city and county websites in Texas were taken offline after a large-scale ransomware attack. Weeks after that, the Travis Central Appraisal District's website was the target of another ransomware attack. In January, Gov. Greg Abbott said the state fended off as many as 10,000 attacks from Iranian servers.

"This is something that everybody in the state of Texas needs to be concerned, prepared and be able to address," Abbott said in January.

Got a tip? Email Andrew Weber at aweber@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.

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