50 of 200 County Systems Restored After Cyber Attack

Dec 20, 2017

Mecklenburg County said Wednesday more than 50 of its computer systems have now been restored after a ransomware attack two weeks ago. In an update, the county said those include systems for arrest processing in the sheriff's office, social services referrals, online park reservations, and business tax collections.

County officials previously said 200 key systems were knocked out by the Dec. 5 attack.

Systems back online as of Wednesday include:

  • The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's arrest processing and management system.
  • Courthouse case and jury management systems.
  • Department of Social Services referral and case management systems
  • Land Use and Environmental Services payment system
  • Health department dental clinic patient management systems
  • The Park & Rec online registration and reservation system
  • Public library payment system
  • The county tax office's internal business tax collection system)

The county says employees are working around the clock to restore systems from backups. County Manager Dena Diorio has said she expects all systems to be restored by year's end.

Officials say some systems may not be available externally, which means you may have to visit a county office. Residents are asked to call ahead to check the status before they visit.

The hack was triggered when an employee clicked on an email link that sent a malicious program called "LockCrypt" onto their own and other computers and servers. Officials say 48 of the county's 500 servers and 200 key computer programs or applications were affected.

The program locked the computers, while county officials shut down others to prevent the infection from spreading. Hackers demanded a ransom of two Bitcoins, worth more than $30,000, in exchange for a key to unlock them. Officials decided not to pay the ransom, after determining that systems could be restored from county backups.  

RELATED LINKS

Dec. 20, 2017, MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, ransomware update