County computers infected with malware
A ransomware attack has locked down many computers in the Jackson County Courthouse. According to County Judge Jill Sklar, the sheriff, district attorney, and district clerk’s computers were targeted by hackers.
“Our computer system has been compromised,” Sklar said. “We believe it happened sometime on Monday. Local, state, and federal agencies are working on getting it up and running.”
The FBI was at the courthouse early Wednesday morning to investigate. Sklar said all of the computers in those offices are shut down. The tax office is on separate server and can still do some business as usual, with the exception of voter registration and processing tax payments. The county clerk’s office is unable to process credit card payments at this time.
“These hackers are very sophisticated,” Sklar said. “The requested ransom is a large amount and we aren’t interested in paying that at this time.
“We have backup, but they were able to penetrate our backup systems as well. We hope we caught it soon enough to save it.”
These types of attacks have been occurring at government offices all over the country.
It is believed the ransomware originates from Eastern Europe or Russia.
“We have a few options and we are going to do what is the most cost-effective to get up and running,” she said. “We will still be able to do some business, but it will be pen and paper. The sheriff’s office is still performing their duties, as are the other offices. If an individual needs a particular service they should reach out to the appropriate office to make sure it is available at this time.
“We will find a solution but it is going to take time to make sure it is clean and we don’t reinfect ourselves.”