In Amarillo, Potter County government officials are working to recover from a virus attack on their computers, while the FBI investigates the issue.
Systems are still in lockdown and officials said normal operations may not resume until early May.
Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner told NewsChannel 10 that three viruses that took over the county’s network last week could have been planted as early as February.
“We thought we were prepared,” Tanner said. “Obviously, we were not. That is an eye- opener and we have to fix that, for sure.”
Although officials believe that no personal information was stolen from the computers, they said some encrypted files may never be unlocked, forcing employees to recreate them as closely as possible.
The viruses are bogging down the speed of county government operations. Sheriff Brian Thomas told NewsChannel 10 immediately after the computers were affected that the department was “going old-fashioned” with paper and pencil.
“Seriously, that’s what we’re having to do. All of our calls that we’re taking and all of our reports that we’re doing, we’re having to do by paper and pencil,” Thomas said.
District Attorney Randall Sims told ABC 7 News that his prosecutors lost important notes due to the viruses.
The one bright spot is that voting systems are secure, primarily because election equipment isn’t connected to the internet, said Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley. As a precaution, an emergency protocol was activated that requires all elections operations to be separated from the rest of Potter County government, she said.