Schenectady County, N.Y., Reacts to Malware Discovery

Officials are in the process of removing the malicious software from county systems, including the main office, jail and courthouse. The main website and email have been taken offline for safety.

by Paul Nelson, Times Union / December 14, 2018
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(TNS) — The computer network systems for the main county office building, the jail and courthouse have been hacked, according to Schenectady County Attorney Chris Gardner.

He said Thursday that the malware was detected within the last day or so and that officials are "taking immediate steps to cleanse it from our system."

As a result , the county's website and email system are being shut down.

"The entire process is expected to take approximately one week to be fully mitigated, however, priority systems will brought be back online as quickly as possible on a rolling basis," he said. He said the impact should be minimal to the public.

"We don't expect they'll notice any changes to service, " he added. "There might be some slowness in responding to emails for a few days."

Gardner emphasized that only the internal networks were affected and that there is "no evidence" that people's personal information, including Social Security numbers, was compromised.

The 911 central dispatch center, Glendale nursing home, Board of Elections, library system, and Social Services department were not affected, Gardner said.

He said the county took what it thought were the necessary precautions to protect its computer network system from hackers but "there's always something out there."

He said the county is working with cyber security professionals and law enforcement officials, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to determine the origin of the computer network breach.

Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.

©2018 the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.). Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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