The Travis Central Appraisal District confirmed Tuesday that its website is being targeted by a hacker or hackers, preventing users from being able to access the public site.
“We are being repeatedly hacked by someone trying to steal our data. That is causing a denial of service to everyone else. Our staff is working with the internet provider to see if there is a way block that person,” Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler told the American-Statesman on Tuesday.
Crigler said no confidential data has been compromised. “All of our data is secure; anything that is confidential is not exposed,” she said.
Crigler said it appears the hacker or hackers were attempting to access a large amount of data at one time, in ways that violate TCAD policy
“Occasionally we will get some bad actors who just don’t want to play nicely by the rules,” Crigler said. “Rather than contacting us to get a copy of our appraisal roll on a CD sent to them they will try to steal it from the website and do a bulk transfer. And what they do is create so much traffic and activity that they deny service to everybody else who wants to have access to our data.”
Crigler said the appraisal district experiences these “very frequently.”
“We will identify them by their IP address and block that IP address,” Crigler said. “We have just this time encountered someone that keeps changing their IP address and are not getting the hint once we cut them off.”
“It’s just a nuisance and a disservice to the rest of our taxpayers to have a bad actor like this trying to do a bulk data transfer on a website that’s not designed for that kind of data, rather than going through the proper channels.”