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Email back up for ‘about half’ of Georgetown County staff following ransomware attack

Cyber security expert on ransomware
Cyber security expert on ransomware
Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 4:40 PM EST
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Georgetown County officials say email has been restored for nearly half its staff a month after a ransomware attack impacted the county.

A spokesperson for the county said Friday that staff has switched to Office 365 to conduct business, and was already in the works before the Jan. 22 attack. The county says the move has been moved up out of necessity and restoration is taking place on a prioritized list.

Officials said emails addressed most likely to be utilized by the public should be working again.

The county also says its IT staff will continue restoring emails in the next few weeks, as well as restoring network connectivity and cleaning computers impacted by the attack. Staff is also working to make security improvements to ensure a similar incident does not happen in the future, one official said.

Officials explained last months’ attack was traced to an email received on its system and was “a very sophisticated attempt to gain access to the county network,” according to cybersecurity experts. They also described it as “something most people would have mistaken for being a legitimate email.”

Georgetown County did not pay the ransom and opted to rebuild its own system instead. The county says there is no evidence that private information, including any belonging to employees or taxpayers, was compromised.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.

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