CURRY COUNTY, Ore. — Curry County’s systems are still down after data was stolen in a ransomware attack.
“Curry County’s digital footprint has been completely wiped away,” said Curry County Commissioner Brad Alcorn. “Our ability to provide service to the people in Curry County has been completely disrupted.”
According to a news release from Curry County, the troubles began during the morning hours of April 26 when the county’s offices began to experience difficulty accessing internal documents.
From there, I.T. specialists were called to look into problem and discovered that the situation was much more serious than anticipated. After some investigating, officials determined the issues were from a ransomware attack attributed to the Royal Ransomware Group.
“The entire county and every department in the county has been impacted by this,” Alcorn said. “I would describe this in the I.T. world as being the Cascadia event. It is that devastating.”
Since the attack, Curry County has declared a local public emergency.
NewsWatch 12 has also learned that the county’s systems are still down and that specialists are working on recovering all of the data that was lost. The telephone service is working, but emails are not.
“We had to take all of our computers into a room so that they could be examined by a professional to determine if they’re even functional,” Alcorn said. “We have essentially had to start by rebuilding the network and then the servers and then the computers and we are still in the beginning processes of that rebuild.”
During an interview with NewsWatch 12, Alcorn said that daily services have been disrupted across all county departments including the sheriff’s office, the court, records, etc. He also said it could be several weeks before their systems are back to normal.
“The response team will be working around the clock to restore operations. At this time, we cannot estimate when full access and services will be restored,” the release said. “The County is prioritizing service returns to public safety and public-facing departments.”
Press Release: Update on service disruptions
Since the attack on April 26, Alcorn said that Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have stepped in to investigate how the attack happened. No specifics details have been released, as of May 11.
“We are very prepared for wildfires, we’re very prepared for earthquakes, we’re very prepared for floods and wind events, but not so much for this type of cyber attack,” Alcorn said. “And it’s every bit as costly and every bit as damaging.”
NewsWatch 12 has learned that the county is receiving help from several different organizations from across the state and the country including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Department of Administrative Services, the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, FirstNet, Microsoft, the Brookings Police Department, Josephine County, Coos County and Lane County.
Alcorn said he has also been in touch with Governor Kotek’s Office and is working on receiving help from the state government.
Alcorn confirmed with NewsWatch 12 that the county’s election system was not impacted during the ransomware attack and that system is safe and secure.
This is a developing story. NewsWatch 12 will update with more information as it comes out.
Updates will be posted to Curry County’s website, the release said.
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