Mecklenburg County

Updated 3:33 p.m.
Mecklenburg County homeless shelters are adding beds and relaxing their rules this week to accommodate more people as overnight temperatures dip into the teens or below.  County officials estimate that more than a thousand people have been housed the past few nights - well above normal - and there are still open beds. 

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Most Mecklenburg County computer systems used by the public are now back online after an early December cyber-attack. County Manager Dena Diorio told county commissioners Wednesday night that remaining systems should be online by the end of this week. Diorio also said the county will speed up work to protect systems from future attacks. 


It's taking longer than expected to restore Mecklenburg County computer systems disabled after a cyberattack last month. County officials had hoped to finish the job by New Year's, but the work continues.

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County residents can again pay their property taxes online. This service was disabled earlier this month when the county was hit with a ransomware attack.

And it comes back online just in time for those looking to trim their federal tax bill.

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.

Alex Olgin / WFAE

UPDATED 12:18 p.m. 12/20/2017

Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to fund a pilot project to help prevent the spread of HIV. The county has an infection rate more than double the national average. Tuesday night, the county health director will propose spending $248,000 to get medicines that provide significant protection to those most at risk.

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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?