Cyberattack hits Georgia county, officials take down network, phones | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The municipal government in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, located 85 miles southeast of Atlanta, suffered a cyberattack over the weekend.

County officials released a notice that they took the government network offline upon discovery of the attack. As of Monday, government offices could still not reliably access their email accounts or landline phones.

“Over the weekend, we were made aware of a potential breach of our network,” reads a statement from county spokesperson Chris Floore. “In an abundance of caution, we took our network offline and are investigating the matter and adding additional security measures.”

Floore also said the county is in contact with state and federal security officials for guidance and assistance.

The county government, which oversees a population of roughly 150,000 residents, did not disclose whether this cyberattack is a ransomware attack, similar to last week’s cyberattack on Wichita, Kansas, which also partially shut down its computer network as a containment measure.

The Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Administration advises state and local governments against paying ransom payments, as it does not “ensure data will be decrypted or systems or data will no longer be compromised.”

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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