Potter County judge: Computer attack was ransomware

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Computer virus

Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner sent an email to county employees last week informing them that a recent attack on the county’s computer systems was the result of ransomware, not a virus as had been previously reported.

ABC 7 reported that Tanner said in the email that the county would not pay the ransom because there is a “99% chance the county would not get its data back if it paid the hackers.”

She also asked in the email for the information to be kept secret. “I will reiterate that I do not want the information about ransomware being made public,” Tanner wrote in the email, according to the TV station. “I hope that you will take me serious on that issue.”

When contacted by ABC 7 for comment, Tanner said, “The email accurately describes what Potter County is dealing with. It is disappointing that someone made this public, even though I requested they not.”

County departments are still trying to recover some of the files lost in the cyber attack last month. The ABC 7 story said officials believe that no personal information was stolen from the computers, but some of the encrypted files may never be unlocked, forcing employees to recreate them as closely as they can.

Although most county systems were hit, elections officials said their systems were spared because election equipment isn’t connected to the internet.

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