Mecklenburg County

cyber security graphic
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Updated 5:19 p.m.
Many Mecklenburg County services remain hobbled after a cyberattack last week that scrambled data on county computer systems. County technology director Keith Gregg said 17 of about 200 key systems have been restored, and the county is being "hyper-vigilant" as it restores the rest, to make sure there's no risk of re-infecting them.

Updated Friday 7:37pm

Mecklenburg County has released the initial ransom email from hackers responsible for the ransomware attack on government servers.

“All your files have been encrypted!" the message reads. "All your files have been encrypted because of a security problem with your PC."

County technology manager Keith Gregg said the county's backups were "highly effective."
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 2:34 p.m.
A day after Mecklenburg County announced it would not pay ransom to hackers who locked up data on its computer systems, the hackers appear to have tried again to penetrate county systems.  Meanwhile, the county manager says restoring those systems manually could take until the end of the year. 

To learn more about ransomware, WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke to Dan Lorhmann. He’s the chief strategist and security officer at Security Mentor, a Michigan company that specializes in cybersecurity. He’s also a former chief security officer for Michigan’s state government.

Mark Rumsey:  First, how often is this kind of thing happening that we're dealing with in Mecklenburg County government right now?

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio talked to reporters Wednesday about this week's hacker attack on county servers.
David Boraks / WFAE

County Manager Dena Diorio says hackers from the Ukraine or Iran are likely behind this week's attack that shut down Mecklenburg County computer systems. County officials said Wednesday afternoon the county will not pay a $23,000 ransom in the electronic currency Bitcoins demanded by the attackers. They say the county will restore its systems from backups.

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Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said Wednesday the county won't pay computer criminals $23,000 to unlock data scrambled in a "ransomware" attack this week. 

File photo

Many Mecklenburg County functions have come to a halt after a ransomware attack encrypted files on at least 30 county servers. The hackers have given the county a deadline of 1 pm Wednesday to pay a ransom of about $23,000.

The nurse who conducted an internal review of the Mecklenburg County Health Department suggested problems with patient care are worse than expected. The Charlotte Observer obtained e-mails from the nurse raising significant concerns about patient safety.


Charlotte Observer

The new interim health director for Mecklenburg County starts work Monday. Alma Harris takes over for Marcus Plescia. He resigned after his leadership was called into question when it was revealed that the agency had failed to timely notify nearly 200 women about abnormal Pap smear results. But the hiring of Harris to a $20,000 a month position is drawing scrutiny.

Jenna Eason / Charlotte Observer

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio has proposed a budget for 2018 that includes no property tax increases. It recommends a $15 million increase for CMS, but that's about $12 million short of the $440 million the district requested. 

“This will support the costs of opening new facilities, cost increases for health and retirement benefits, sustaining operations, and a portion of the request to expand student support services, including guidance counselors and social workers," says Diorio. 

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