Douglas County Libraries working to restore services after ransomware hit | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A ransomware attack last month and a water main break at the Highlands Ranch library have proved challenging for Douglas County Libraries. The issues have impacted the availability of some services and even resulted in closures. 

The Highlands Ranch Library re-opened in late January, with ongoing repair work after hours, but some issues are lingering. Services, such as the online research database and new library card sign-ups, are not available at times.

The problems are temporary, according to Amber DeBerry, director of community engagement for Douglas County Libraries. 

“We are hoping to restore full services soon,” said DeBerry. “Although we do not have a time estimate on when all services will be restored.”

The study room reservation systems were impacted and a new process has been created for customers where they can call and make reservations. Coming later this year will be a new platform with online reservation capabilities. 

DeBerry said via email that the IT issues affecting certain services were linked to a ransomware attack. The library is working with external cybersecurity specialists to address the problems. 

According to the nation’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, therefore, blocking access to data and systems. 

Some of the most common techniques for a ransomware attack is through email phishing campaigns, software or desktop vulnerabilities. 

DeBerry said there is no more information the library can provide at this time. 

Although most services have been restored, the libraries are occasionally experiencing various outages due to the recovery process and some services may be sporadic. People can still get a library card online, but if that service is not available, DeBerry said to call the main number for assistance in getting one. 

“We wish we could provide more exact information and timelines,” said DeBerry in an email. “The team is still working through the effects of the incident.”


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National Cyber Security