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Government Websites of Lee County back online after hit by a cyber attack


Access to as well as from the government websites of Lee County was restored early on Sep. 22, 2019, afternoon, four days after the resident's lost important link with their county government. Roger Desjarlais, the Lee County Manager, has announced on Sep. 18, 2019, that the county has experienced a security breach as a result of a cyber attack.


By late afternoon of Sep. 21, 2019, the site read: "Important Notice: The Lee County web site is currently unavailable for scheduled maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience. The site will be back online shortly".


The Lee County's website (i.e. leegov.com) as well as the computer network were shut down due to the cyber attack on Sep. 18, 2019, and remain inaccessible till Sep. 22, 2019. Thus due to this the public was not able to reach the Lee County website as an information source during this four day period.


Emergency services were not affected in this cyber attack, but the bills cannot be paid online. The breach has also impacted Library System of the Lee County. The citizens of Lee County cannot check out e-books; sign up for library card; search inventory at the home, over the internet or on their phone; and pay late fees.


The county officials said that the service was gradually getting restored across all the departments and functions. However, some service outages or connection issues could occur as the online services are restored.


Cyber security experts said that the attack on computer network of Lee County government might was an attempt of extorting money from the Lee County, or might have been an attempt to get access of private information about county residents and employees.


The county officials are not discussing whether the Lee County is victim of a ransomware attack. Betsy Clayton, the Communications Director, said on Sep. 22, 2019, that officials of the county understand that the public wanted to know how system has been brought down, but still cannot answer the specific questions.


"The county's goal and obligation remains the protection of personal information that belongs to the public and our employees. The details and security measures involved in this situation are part of an active law enforcement investigation and cannot be discussed," said Clayton in one of their press release.


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