Files being held for ransom by hackers

Dec 08, 2017, 01:33
Files being held for ransom by hackers

A forensic examination shows 48 of the county's 500 servers were affected, Diorio said, adding that county government officials believe the hacker wasn't able to gain access to individuals' health, credit card or social security information. The news release indicated the agency consulted "multiple" cybersecurity experts.

Diorio said no resident's personal information is exposed, but all of the Information Technology Services (ITS) systems in the county are shut down. Deputies were processing jail inmates by hand and building code inspectors switched to paper records after a county employee unleashed the malicious software earlier this week by opening an email attachment.

"Based on our discussions with our attorney, there are a lot of places that pay, because it is easier to pay, it's cheaper to pay than to try to fix it on your own", she said.

Authorities in a North Carolina county say its servers have been hacked and are being held for ransom. Achieving that goal will require the county to use its backups to rebuild applications from scratch, the county said. Just after 6 p.m., officials told reporters that 30 servers were being held for ransom.

Thomas says they have all the security layers needed to prevent these cyber attacks, but says it's always possible they could be a hacker's next target.

The exact financial impact to the county is unclear because the situation is still developing, Diehl said, but as officials inspect its hundreds of servers, they're giving priority to key areas.

WBTV says county officials were considering whether to pay the ransom.

The county manager said that contrary to erroneous reports, the hackers are only demanding $23,000 in ransom to release the data - but the process of establishing a cryptocurrency account and using it to meet the demands could take several days.

Departments affected by the outage are implementing contingency plans.

The Department of Social Services is asking customers to confirm transportation scheduling.

"Our advice to folks is if planning to come and do business with the county and go to Code Enforcement, for example, they should call in advance and make sure that we're going to be available".

This all started when a county worker clicked on an email that was infected. The state's largest city issued a statement that its separate computer systems have not been affected and that it severed direct connections to county computers. The local tax office is also struggling to process payments. The hackers' threat isn't to publish the files, but to keep them inaccessible.

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