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Wichita County officials silent amid network outage

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita County network has been down for several days, leading many to wonder if the network is experiencing an outage, or if it has been compromised in a more nefarious way.

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The network, which includes the Wichita County Courthouse, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, and public access to county records and court documents, has been out of commission since early in the week.

While county officials have confirmed the network is not currently in operation, none have confirmed much else on the matter, causing concerned citizens to speculate whether the county has been the target of a cyber attack of some kind.

According to a top-elected Wichita County official, the network is “dead in the water.” An employee with Wichita County said the payroll system is down, hindering personnel from submitting their hours.

Our newsroom has made several attempts to contact Wichita County officials for more information, but all efforts have thus far been unsuccessful.

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Wichita County Judge Jim Johnson is currently out of the office at a conference. Our newsroom spoke to Van Dotson, his Chief of Staff, who said all he knows is the network is down and they are working on it. He told our newsroom to contact the county’s Information Technology Department for more information.

When our newsroom reached out to the IT department Thursday morning, an employee said a message would be given for a callback. As of the publication of this story, that call has not been returned.

When our crews attempted to visit the IT department in person on Thursday morning, were were not allowed inside for footage.

Our newsroom has reached out to multiple other department heads within Wichita County, including District Clerk Leslee Mannon and Tax Assessor-Collector Tommy Smyth, but we have not received a response as of the publication of this story.

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When our crew went to the Treasurer’s Office late Thursday morning, it was locked with a handwritten note on the door stating, “Out to find a working computer… Back soon.”

A county official told our newsroom off the record that the outage is being investigated by law enforcement agencies, but that claim has not been officially confirmed.

Several county systems in Texas have been hacked and ransom payments have been demanded in recent years, including Tarrant County as recently as March 2024.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.

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