Ottawa County ransomeware update!

Mar 28, 2023 | Featured | 0 comments

UPDATE: Ottawa County Commissioners and county government officials provided an update late Monday, March 27, to address an incident of hacking and ransomeware last week that threatened to comprise the county’s internet systems.

County Administrator Rhonda Slauterbeck reported Ottawa County officials are working with a leading cybersecurity firm and have been able to recover the majority of affected County data.

County officials and their cybersecurity firm are continuing to monitor the County network through an endpoint detection and response tool to ensure containment, and prohibit the spread of any new or residual malware.

“We have been able to recover the majority of affected Ottawa County data,” confirmed the cybersecurity experts. The firm has completed its review of the data released by the unauthorized party and found no personally identifiable information.

Its investigation to determine the scope of the incident is ongoing. At this time, its is believed only a small subset of Ottawa County records were impacted.

“We will review this data in order to determine what information was involved, who may have been affected and where those people reside so that we can provide any necessary notices consistent with our obligations and responsibilities,” said Ottawa County officials, “And we are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement and provide updates on our investigation.”

Slauterbeck said the Ottawa County Commissioners Donald Douglas, Mark Stahl and Mark Coppeler and other county officials take seriously their responsibility to protect the Ottawa County network and data.

“We are committed to strengthening our cybersecurity systems, reinforcing cyber best practices, and continuing to build a culture of security to help protect Ottawa County,” they said in a statement on Tuesday morning. “We are incredibly proud of our team who worked tirelessly to securely restore impacted systems.

“Because of the ongoing nature of this investigation we are unable to provide any other details at this time,” said Slauterbeck. “We look forward to emerging from this incident stronger than before, and will continue to update the community as we are able.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Ottawa County is working with experts to protect and restore its computer network after a ransomeware attack last week. While the county’s essential services are able to continue operations, Administrator Rhonda Slaughterbeck of the Ottawa County Commissioners office said cyber security experts have been brought in to restore impacted systems.

“We’ll be keeping the community updated about the efforts to hack our system,” said Slauterbeck, speaking by telephone for County Commissioners Donald Douglas, Mark Stahl and Mark Coppeler. Officials would not identify any aspects of the hacking, or the ransomware demands.

Whoever has hacked the Ottawa County computer network has reportedly released information from the network. Local and national IT experts have been consulted to determine what information has been compromised.

“We recently detected and responded to a ransomware attack on our computer network. As soon as we learned this, we began working to investigate, to restore operations, and determine the effects of the incident,” county officials said in a prepared statement. “We also are working with nationally recognized third-party cybersecurity consultants to assist us. We continue to actively monitor the situation and have notified law enforcement.

“The safety and security of our county residents and our employees remains our top priority. The County’s IT Department and leading cybersecurity and forensic teams continue working to test and recover impacted systems.

Thanks to their efforts, we are pleased to share that we have made a lot of progress toward restoring our network. All essential services continue to operate.”

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