On 5 December, the government for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina informed its Twitter followers that it was “experiencing a computer-system outage.”
We are experiencing a computer-system outage. If you are planning to go to a County office to conduct business, please contact the office prior to going to ensure you can be served. Details » https://t.co/7MD7bBh4BV pic.twitter.com/TTdNKezd2s
— Mecklenburg County (@MeckCounty) December 5, 2017
In a statement posted to the County’s website, government officials explain the impact of the incident:
“… [A]ll County-wide Information Technology Services (ITS) systems will be shut down until further notice. This will affect email, printing and other County applications, including the ability to conduct business at most County offices. At this time, there is no Estimated Time of Recovery (ETR) available.
Each County department is activating its Continuity Of Operations Plan, which is designed to address situations like this. If you are planning to go to a County office to conduct business, please contact the office prior to going to ensure you can be served.”
Mecklenburg County doesn’t go into further detail about what happened. Local news outlets do, however.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the County suffered a ransomware attack when an employee opened a malicious email attachment. The unknown ransomware subsequently encrypted the County’s files. International Business Times reports that the attachment also loaded a crypto-mining program designed to consume the County’s collective network CPU to mine for Bitcoin.
Officials have until 13:00 Wednesday to meet the attacker’s demands of $23,000 for the decryption key.
County Manage Dena Diorio says she’s still deciding whether to fulfill that command. She told the Charlotte Observer (Read more...)
This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog post authored by David Bisson. Read the original post at: The State of Security