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Fremont County, Colo., Extends Cyber Attack Emergency Declaration

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners voted to extend the emergency declaration that followed an Aug. 27 cyber attack against government systems. This is the second time commissioners have voted to extend the declaration.

(TNS) — With quite a bit of work already done, but plenty more to go, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution to extend the Declaration of a Local Disaster Due to Cybersecurity Attack on Computer Technology Systems for Fremont County.

A BlackCat ransomware cyber attack Aug. 17 shut down the county government's computer systems, and departments have since continued to investigate the extent of the attack so each division can get back up and running.

Fremont County Commissioners extend declaration of local disaster after cyber attack

The board extended its first declaration through Sept. 13 at its August meeting.

"The emergency declaration allows us resources that might not necessarily be available to us without an emergency declaration," Commissioner Dwayne McFall said.

This extension will run through Sept. 27.

"We can kill this at any time, we can extend it again if we need to," McFall said. "It is better to have in place just in case something happens at this particular time and we are not taking advantage of resources that we currently don't have. You never know what is going to come up."

Commissioner Kevin Grantham said that this isn't to be misconstrued that the board plans to drag things out another two weeks.

"This is just to make resources available to us if possible," he said. "We are going to continue to get us back up and running 100% regardless of this. But this will help us to get to the end quicker."

The Fremont County Clerk and Recorder's Division of Motor Vehicles will be open to all services and all forms of payment beginning Monday. This week, the department is not able to accept cash payments. Appointments are not required, but they are recommended.

The Recording Division is working to recreate the data that was lost. Anyone who recorded a document Aug. 16 is asked to call the Recording Division at 719-276-7336 so staff can recreate the transaction.

Individuals desiring a marriage license may visit the offices in Colorado Springs, Salida or Westcliffe.

Additionally, citizens who made a cash payment to the Fremont County Treasurer's Office on Aug.16 are asked to bring in a copy of their receipt to ensure their charges are accounted for properly.

Staff is available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday at 615 Macon Ave. For more information, call the Fremont County Treasurer's Office at 719-276-7380.

"We thank the community for being patient with us," McFall said. "We are working as diligently as we can to get things open, and we appreciate their understanding and patience."

Also during Tuesday's meeting, a representative of Columbia ltd offered his services to help recruit for three current and upcoming vacancies: county manager, human resources director and director of planning and zoning.

The board has not yet made a decision on which recruitment agency they will use to replace Sunny Bryant, who was named deputy county administrator for El Paso County; Ashley Martinez who tendered her resignation; and Mica Simpleman, who transferred to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office.

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