Government computer systems in Union County and Dover, Morris County, suffered cyberattacks this past week. Officials say that no personal information was compromised and essential services continue to operate.
(TNS) — Government computer systems in New Jersey's Union County and Dover, Morris County, suffered cyberattacks this past week, officials said.
The attack in Union County began around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, targeting employees’ email, which was restored Thursday morning, Union County spokeswoman Tina Casey told NJ Advance Media. The attack in Dover, Morris County, began on Saturday, but went unnoticed until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend, the town said in a statement.
“No personal information was compromised during the attack and essential services such as emergency dispatch continued to operate,” Casey said in a statement. "The county website also remained available to the public throughout the incident, with limited exceptions.”
Casey said she got a few emails that she hadn’t received over the course of the last two days in her inbox this morning. Other Union County officials that NJ Advance Media has spoken to also complained of having email issues over the last few days.
The response to the attack was coordinated by Union County’s cybersecurity consultant, SpinCube.
It’s unclear how email service was restored or if any ransom was paid. Casey referred comment to SpinCube when asked if any ransom was paid, but someone who answered the phone at the Jersey City-based company said no one was available to speak about the attack.
A spokeswoman for the FBI in New Jersey declined to comment about the cyberattack in Union County.
The town of Dover said its municipal computers were hit with ransomware called “Ryuk." No data or information was altered or destroyed from any of Dover’s servers, the town said.
Dover Business Administrator William Reyes said the town’s IT consulting firm, Nisivoccia Consulting, was able to remove the virus without having to pay a ransom. The hack affected the system network for the municipal computers and some employees noted they were not able to receive email, Reyes added.
"We received an email that it was a ransomware, but it didn’t come with a ransom request,” Reyes said. "They never asked for money, but the mail indicated it was a ransomware.”
Half of the 20 affected computers have been fully restored and the town is currently in the process of updating its operating system for more protection, Reyes explained.
Casey, the spokeswoman for Union County, was unsure if employees had suffered the same type of cyberattack as Dover.
Dozens of New Jersey government agencies have been the targets of hackers over the last two years, according to a recent report from the FBI.
The City of Newark paid hackers $30,000 in Bitcoin after to gain access to its computer system after it was infiltrated by ransomware in 2017. Authorities say two hackers in Iran were responsible for the cyberattack.
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