AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Travis Central Appraisal District was hit with a ransomware attack Monday, affecting several services. The phone lines and online chat services are down, according to a TCAD release.

Property tax bills and payments are unaffected. The TCAD website and online property search tool is also unaffected, the release said.

“We are working with the appropriate agencies to resolve this issue,” said TCAD Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler. “At this time, we do not have an estimate on how long it will take to restore our network.” 

District staff are able to answer property-related questions and process homestead exemption applications, however response times may be delayed, a district release states. 

Property owners with questions about their property tax bills should contact the Travis County Tax Office. 

Travis County property owners who need to contact TCAD are encouraged to do so via email at TCAD said it will provide updates on its website.

TCAD statement

The ransomware attack was discovered Monday morning, a TCAD spokesperson told KXAN. TCAD said it’s “unaware how the ransomware infected [the] system.”

No personal property owner information is at risk or was accessed by this attack. We have numerous safeguards in place that are allowing our operations to continue, though it may take longer than usual for property owners to have their property issues addressed. We appreciate their patience.

TCAD spokesperson

TCAD targeted previously

In April, TCAD’s website was targeted in a DDoS attack.

DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. This type of attack aims to disrupt a website or network by overflowing it with traffic. Attackers use malware to infect hundreds or thousands of computers, creating a botnet they can then use to flood and overwhelm their target, according to U.S. News