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Maryland Library Systems Yet to Recover Following Hack

The so-called Emotet virus infected computers in Anne Arundel County Library last week, taking them offline and exposing user data.

(TNS) — Public computers at Maryland's Anne Arundel County libraries are expected to be offline at least another two weeks as officials continue to battle the effects of a “Emotet” virus that infected about 600 computers last week.

The county announced Oct. 6 the computers were exposed to the virus, which targets users through sophisticated email ruses. It prompted officials to inform 4,768 customers who used public computers since Sept. 17 to monitor their personal information for fraudulent activity.

In a release Saturday, spokeswoman Christine Feldmann said, “Information technology professionals are still working to permanently remove the virus and the complicated process will likely take another two weeks.”

She wrote, “Recognizing the severity of the situation, library officials are hiring internet security experts to assist with eradicating the virus and cleaning the network.”

County libraries first learned of the virus Oct. 4, Feldmann wrote. A week later, “Officials discovered that a database of customers who used library computers or the business services kiosk for copy, facing (or) printing was exposed to the virus.”

The database includes library card numbers, customer names and birthdays dating back to November 2015. Customers use their library card to log into the public computers, but Feldmann said no other personal information is kept by the database.

Customers who were told they might be affected are asked to think about changing other account passwords if they used a library computer or the business service kiosk.

“Along with many organizations, we’ve discovered vulnerabilities through this breach and are taking comprehensive steps to prevent any future incidents, library CEO Hampton “Skip” Auld said in a statement.

If you think you’ve been affected by the breach, visit www.aacpl.net/consumer for additional resources.

©2018 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Phil Davis is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine.
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