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New Mexico County Government Falls Victim to Ransomware

The ransomware attack against Rio Arriba County was first discovered earlier this week. The incident encrypted network servers, electronic files, and databases. The extent of damage is under investigation.

by Amanda Martinez, The Santa Fe New Mexican / May 28, 2020
Shutterstock/GlebSStock

(TNS) — Rio Arriba County government was the victim of a ransomware cyberattack, with a significant but still unknown number of its network servers, electronic files and databases having been encrypted, according to a Wednesday news release.

"While the exact extent of this cyberattack has not yet been determined, what is known is that nearly every county server that has files or databases on it has been affected in some way, including the County’s backup servers," the news release states.

Raymond Ortiz, the county's information technology consultant, confirmed the cyberattack Wednesday but said he could not provide further comment. County Manager Tomas Campós did not immediately return a message.

The affected servers, files and databases cannot be accessed, reviewed or edited. Officials discovered agencies had been victims of the cyberattack Tuesday and reported the intrusion to the county's insurance company and federal law enforcement authorities, according to the news release.

The attack is not expected to affect the June 2 primary election, the news release states, as the machines used to tabulate ballots are not connected to the county's network.

County Clerk Linda Padilla is working with the Secretary of State's Office to find an alternate method of transferring voting data without using the county's network, the news release states.

©2020 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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