SALEM, Ore. — One week after an Oregon county was hit by a cyberattack, the county computer systems stay unplugged whereas a cybersecurity agency tries to barter with criminals who deployed the ransomware, a county official mentioned Wednesday.
Tillamook County sheriff’s Lt. Gordon McCraw, who’s the county emergency supervisor, mentioned the outage is creating probably the most havoc for the taxation and clerk’s workplaces within the coastal county, that are extra reliant on computer systems.
“Division heads are in fact sad that they will’t do issues the best way they used to,” McCraw mentioned in a phone interview.
Prospects have been trying out books from county libraries the quaint method, with paper and pen, as a substitute of scanning them, McCraw mentioned.
It’s not clear if a ransom demand has been made, however McCraw mentioned the county wants an encryption key to entry all the info that the criminals encrypted. A examine decided that it will take 12 years to decrypt all the info with out the important thing.
Ransomware is malicious software program that encrypts a system, successfully locking out its customers. The attackers promise to decrypt the knowledge with a decryption key if they’re paid.
The county reported the assault to its cyber insurance coverage provider. Arete Advisors, a cybersecurity firm based mostly in New York, has been engaged to supervise an investigation and coordinate with legislation enforcement and “is negotiating with whoever encrypted our recordsdata,” McCraw mentioned.
It was not clear if a ransom demand has been made, or if Arete has established contact with the criminals. The corporate didn’t instantly reply to a request for data.
The town authorities mentioned in a press release on Jan. 22, the day of the assault, that its telephones and a few emails and computer systems had been nonetheless offline, affecting all departments, together with metropolis corridor, the library, public works and police. Emergency 911 cellphone quantity and non-emergency dispatch strains had been unaffected. The telephones had been affected as a result of they’re so-called VoIP units which means they use the web.
In 2019, 113 state and municipal governments and companies, 764 healthcare suppliers, and 89 universities, faculties and college districts in the US had been hit by ransomware assaults, mentioned Brett Callow, menace analyst at Emsisoft, an organization that produces software program to guard computer systems in opposition to assaults. The numbers got here from a compilation of press stories and assist requests the corporate obtained, Callow mentioned.