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North Carolina county government suffered third time from a ransomware infection in last 6 Years


A North Carolina county government has suffered third time from a ransomware infection in the last six years.


As per the statement published on their website, the government of Orange County observed on March 18, 2019, that a computer virus infected their network. Orange County government responded by shutdown of all their servers, which rendered Orange County Main Library's public computers, reservations for the Orange County facilities, as well as classes/programs for the Department of Aging and DEAPR unavailable. This forced shutdown has also disrupted the local officials' ability of issuing the marriage licenses, processing the real estate closings along with pet adoptions, as well as verifying the tax bills.


After discovering the virus, the government of Orange County instructed their IT team to find the source of this virus. Orange County government also instructed their IT team to evaluate every server and computer connected to network for infection signs. These efforts has led the Orange County to restore the public Wi-Fi and a few GIS functions along with the county email on March 19, 2019, although the employees at this point still could not access the email as they are unable to switch on their computers.


The officials of Orange County confirmed on March 20, 2019, that as of now the IT personnel succeeded in restoring partial functionality to Register of Deeds, animal services, dental and health clinics, and the Sheriff's Department of Person County. The officials also revealed that as of now their response team disinfected 20 out of 120 computers, which are infected by ransomware.


Officials said that early detection as well as rapid response from county's IT Department helped in alleviating some concerns. As per the officials, "the damage was not as severe as originally anticipated".


As per the March 20 update posted on County website, Jim Northrup, the IT Director of Orange County, said that any evidence of data getting lost or stolen has not been detected by the county. "An investigation into the incident is continuing with the assistance from state and federal cyber security and law enforcement experts. Northrup cautioned that until the cause has been isolated, the threat of re-infection exists".


» SPAMfighter News - 3/27/2019

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