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Governor Greg Abbott Reports Rise In Attempted Cyber Attacks On Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday, Texas has seen a rise in attempted cyber attacks and he blames Iran.

Gov. Abbott and state officials said they are keeping a very close eye on this.

They made their remarks after the Governor's second meeting of his Domestic Terrorism Task Force.

This as one state office saw its website fall victim to hackers.

Those visiting the Texas Department of Agriculture's website may have seen on Tuesday a photo of the Iranian general and designated terrorist killed by the U.S.

Texas Department of Agriculture's website hacked
Texas Department of Agriculture's website hacked.

The department confirms its website was defaced briefly Tuesday morning and that state and federal agencies are investigating.

The news comes as Governor Greg Abbott announced that state agencies under his control have seen an increase in attempted cyber attacks by Iran in the past 48 hours — as many as ten thousand per minute.

Governor Greg Abbott
Governor Greg Abbott's Domestic Terrorism Task Force (CBS 11)

"It is my understanding none of those attempted attacks have been successful," said Gov. Abbott.

The Executive Director of the state's Department of Information Resources says these kinds of attacks aren't new but that Texas is being even more vigilant.

"Those are newer numbers. We're pulling the others since we are more specifically just monitoring the Iran numbers right now. But we do believe it is an increase," said Amanda Crawford, Executive Director of the Texas Department Information Resources.

"I think 10,000 is an under- estimate," said Alex Piquero, a Criminology professor at UT Dallas.

He says hackers inside and outside the U.S. regularly target banking systems, electric grids, and the water supply.

He says there are websites that can track the cyber attacks.

"If an attack is coming from some country in the EU it doesn't necessarily mean that it was originating in the EU it could have originated in another country and use the server in the EU and bouncing all over the place before it ends up here," said Piquero.

Governor Abbott urged local governments, businesses and citizens to practice what he called "good cyber hygiene."

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