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The Lone Star State has long had a slogan in the battle against litter: "Don't Mess With Texas."

Well, it looks like some folks are intent on messing with Texas—and it doesn't have anything to do with roadside debris.

Starting Friday, 23 Texas towns were hit with ransomware attacks that paralyzed government operations.

Ransomware typically locks up a computer system until money is paid. Victims can't access important programs or files. And these days that means functions come to a standstill.

The problem is so bad Gov. Greg Abbott has called in cybersecurity experts to see what can be done to get things back to normal. The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and state agencies are on the case.

We wish them luck.

This isn't the first time such an attack has happened — New York, Louisiana, Maryland and Florida have all experienced something similar. And Texas officials haven't released which towns were affected or whether any ransom has been paid.

We hope no money has changed hands because this kind of attack will only become more common — and worse — if it remains profitable. We don't know what can be done. But we do know that detecting, preventing and neutralizing these threats is a top priority for our government. This latest incident just affects a few towns in Texas. But such attacks could put the security of the whole nation at risk.

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