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BRIEF: Ransomware Hampers Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

It has been almost a week since a ransomware attack destroyed backup data and encrypted information on the main server in the North Carolina county. The incident forced the sheriff’s office website offline.

A local sheriff's office website is still down days after officials say it was attacked with ransomware.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office hackers destroyed data from within the agency's IT department early Wednesday morning.

"It was not a security breach where the hackers retrieved information but they destroyed the recent system backup and encrypted the information on the main server, preventing access," Sheriff Bill Beam said, according to a press release.

The Sheriff's Office contacted the FBI to help investigate. The attack has left the Sheriff's Office website, where people can typically go to find information involving inmates, offline.

A ransomware attack is a type of cybercrime in which a hacker seizes an organization's data, and then charges a fee to return access to it.

The city of Concord reported a similar attack on Friday.

Mecklenburg County was targeted in a ransomware attack in 2017. County officials refused to pay a $23,000 ransom after an employee inadvertently clicked on a phishing email, according to The Charlotte Observer.

©2019 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.