TCAD website targeted as new home appraisals are posted

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Homeowners may have issues viewing their new home appraisals on the Travis Central Appraisal District website.

TCAD said 2022 home appraisals were posted Thursday night, and as a result, too many people are trying to access the website right now. TCAD also said the website was impacted by a DDoS attack.

Throughout the day, our website has been hit with a DDoS attack that has significantly impacted the ability for Travis County property owners to obtain important information about their properties. Our staff is urgently working to address this issue and we deeply regret the inconvenience it has caused. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.

Cynthia Martinez, TCAD communications officer

According to U.S. News, 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, the news outlet said.

While the website is loading slowly for some, it may not load at all and time out for others, TCAD said.

A TCAD spokesperson said the issues began around 8 a.m. Friday, but they didn’t exist prior to then. When KXAN tried to access the site around 3 p.m. Friday, it didn’t show up.

TCAD’s website was down on Friday, April 15, 2022 after it said updated market values were posted. (Screenshot from Google Chrome browser)

TCAD is working to fix the issues, but there’s no estimated time on when the website could return.

TCAD told KXAN’s Tahera Rahman on Thursday market values are up. The 2022 median market value for a residential property in Travis County is $632,208.

“In some areas, we’re looking at increases in market value of almost 40 to 50%. In some places, it may even be higher,” said TCAD chief appraiser Marya Crigler on Thursday.

In addition to looking at home appraisals online, homeowners can also learn about the protest process.

The deadline to file a protest is May 16. TCAD encourages people to do so through its online portal. It will also accept protests by mail and via dropbox outside its office on East Anderson Lane.

TCAD is set to host a webinar about the protest process on April 27 at 11 a.m. You must register online.