Activists Hack Fort Worth City Systems Over Texas Ban on Transgender Surgeries for Minors

Over the weekend, a hacker cell targeted the city of Fort Worth, Texas, ostensibly over the state’s restrictions on minors receiving irreversible transgender-related procedures and treatments.

The group, SiegedSec, claimed responsibility for the breach, which occurred around 4 p.m. Friday, according to the Daily Mail. Officials with Fort Worth said the message they received from the hackers condemned the U.S. government and Texas’ ban on transgender operations for minors.

“We have decided to make a message toward the U.S. government,” the alleged hackers wrote in a Facebook post. “It just happens to be one of the largest states banning gender affirming care and, for that, we have made Texas our target.”

While the breach in government data is certainly concerning, officials said no sensitive information was disclosed in the hack, WFAA-TV reported.

Kevin Gunn, the IT solutions director for Fort Worth, said the data gathered in the cyberattack was “not sensitive in nature” and included the type of information the government would have released in a Freedom of Information Act request.

The hack in Fort Worth comes just a couple months after the city of Dallas dealt with a ransomware attack, which put Gunn’s IT team on high alert.

“We block about a quarter million emails each day as potential threats to our computing systems,” he said. “We see people trying to access our computer systems over the internet thousands of times each hour.”

Despite the Facebook post, the alleged group behind the Fort Worth hack has not demanded a ransom.

“Other than what they’ve stated in their posting, their motivation for downloading this information and posting it on the internet … their posting eludes to basically embarrassing the city of Fort Worth and making a political statement,” Gunn said. “So that’s all I can really gather and surmise about what their motivation is.”

On June 3, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ratified a law barring irreversible and body-damaging procedures and treatments for minors who identify as transgender. The law is set to take effect Sept. 1. The Lone Star State is now the 17th state to outlaw such surgeries and therapies for those under 18 years old.