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renegadebusdallas.com December 12, 2017


Hackers freeze Mecklenburg County servers, demand $23000

08 December 2017, 01:36 | Lionel James

Mecklenburg County offices hit by county-wide computer system outage

Hackers freeze Mecklenburg County servers, demand $23000

"I am confident that our backup data is secure and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves", said County Manager Dena Diorio.

"Based on our discussions with our attorney, there are a lot of places that pay, because it is easier to pay, it's cheaper to pay than to try to fix it on your own", she said.

Officials planned to release a list of services later Wednesday that are affected by the cyberattack - and decide whether to pay ransom sought by the unknown attackers. According to the county manager, departments are "up and running, but slower".

If you're planning on heading to a county office for business purposes, you need to contact the office ahead of time to make sure you can be helped, county officials said.

A home builder outside the Code Enforcement office off Wilkinson Boulevard said inspectors aren't able to see inspection schedules or data and are trying to work by telephone and text message.

But Flowers Grube said the problems don't extend to processing emergency calls, which is handled by the city of Charlotte. For that time period, residents in North Carolina's most populous metro area will face delays or disruptions to county services. And the social services department is working to recreate its daily itinerary of 1,600 rides for elderly patients with medical appointments.

Cold Temperatures Late This Week
Office meteorologist Charles Powell also warned temperatures could drop even lower than last week as northerly gales blast the UK. By Friday morning , up to eight inches of snow has been forecast in the Scottish Highlands by STV weather presenter Sean Batty.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio told local media outlets that someone opened an email attachment they shouldn't have, helping the hacker gain entry to the system.

He said it's not unusual for businesses and local governments to pay the ransom.

"The bottom line is regardless of what direction we take, whether we pay or we don't pay, this situation will be resolved in days and not hours", Diorio said.

It was an email with just such an attachment that was opened earlier this week by a county employee that triggered the freeze on much of the county's computer system.

During a press conference Wednesday, Diorio reiterated that no personal information of county workers or customers was compromised by the hackers, which has affected 48 of 500 servers. Credit card information is not saved on servers. "So while they've frozen the servers, they've not compromised the data and not stolen data, as far as we know at this point", Diorio said Tuesday. The state's largest city issued a statement that its separate computer systems have not been affected and that it severed direct connections to county computers. The hackers' threat isn't to publish the files, but to keep them inaccessible.



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