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Fremont County, Colo., in ‘Recovery Phase’ After Cyber Attack

After Fremont County called a declaration of local disaster because of a cyber attack against computer systems, departments have been steadily coming back online thanks to the county's IT team.

(TNS) — Now going into the seventh week of mitigation and restoration, Fremont County government is now in a recovery phase from the Aug. 17 BlackCat ransomware cyber attack.

An extension of a declaration of a local disaster due to the cybersecurity attack expired Tuesday, and the Fremont County Board of Commissioners has no plans to renew it.

Many departments are back up and fully functional, but others are still in the works. Every computer has had to be shipped out to be scrubbed and then have software re-downloaded.

County Manager Sunny Bryant gave a heartfelt thanks to the county's IT team who has worked tirelessly since Aug. 17 to restore these systems.

"They have worked long days, through weekends, and gone above and beyond to bring county services back up," she said. "The last six weeks have been emotional, mentally exhausting and physically exhausting."

But the IT team showed up day after day, she said, with positive attitudes and dedication.

"All county services were affected by the attack," Bryant said. "I appreciate the public's support as we work through this and the patience as services were and continue to be restored."

Board Chair Debbie Bell said the IT staff put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears over the last six weeks.

"Everyone took this attack very, very personally," she said. "There is truly nothing personal about it, but it felt personal, even to us."

She also recognized all of the county staff, department heads, elected officials and Emergency Management for their work during the mitigation process and for continuing to conduct business the best they could without computers.

"Thank you to all of our residents for being graceful and gracious and for being patient with us," Bell said. "This was not an easy thing for any of us, but we are recovering."

Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Justin Grantham said Election Department is fully functional and ballots will go out in the mail Oct. 10 for the Nov. 8 election.

The Department of Motor Vehicle also is up and running and Grantham hopes to have the Recording Division's online database up and running soon. Also still in the process of fully being restored are the Fremont County Department of Transportation and those with offices at the Pathfinder Building. There is no timeline for full restoration for any of these departments.

The cyber attack is still under investigation by law enforcement. Bell said once the investigation is complete, details will be released.

Notifications soon will be going out in the mail to those who were affected by the attack.

The commissioners advise people to take monitor their online activity.

Bryant said there are several employment opportunities available, but with the website still unavailable, the job openings are posted on the bulletin board outside the County Administration Building at 615 Macon Ave. and also at the Colorado Workforce Center. Visit to see employment listings.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, the board:

  • Approved a request for an OPC for Morning Sweets, LLC for a new medical marijuana grow facility. This is a Tier 1 facility with 500 plants to be located at 365 15th Street in Penrose; accessed through 1496 C St.
  • Approved a proclamation declaring September 2022 Kinship Care Month in Fremont County.
  • Approved a temporary use permit for the Rocky Mountain Trials Association for a motorcycle trials event conducted on private land located at 2074 County Road 9 on Oct. 23.
  • Approved a design-build agreement with Corsentino Construction for the Pathfinder Park pavilion project. The new 150- by 200-foot pavilion will be located east of the Pathfinder Event Center. The cost assigned is about $1.9 million, subject to adjustment, and funded by the refinancing of COPS. The contractor requested about three months for the design piece and about five months for construction.
  • Re-appointed Brian Rupp to the Building Code Board of Appeals for a term ending Aug. 1, 2025.

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