County gains more access to network

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

Following the loss of access to various programs on the Fayette County electronic network from a Malware infiltration on June 23, county employees are steadily regaining access to their emails and information.

The Malware that was detected was “Ransomware” and it caused county employees to lose access to their county email and various information.

Recently, county offices that were impacted and unable to provide services to the public have regained some of that access back. Several county employees have regained access to their county emails and more are to follow.

Ransomware is essentially a malicious software that is designed to keep users from accessing their electronic data. There are different types of Ransomware and some are more destructive than others. Regardless of what type it is, in order to regain access to data, a sum of money (or ransom) typically must be paid or the users risk losing that information permanently.

Fayette County Commissioner Dan Dean credited IT department director Mike Meadows and others working hard to bring back services to the entire county.

According to Dean, the system will have tighter security than it previously had. “They intend to have all the computers we have to have the virus protection installed. I think we’re up to 150 computers with the anti-virus on them.”

Dean explained there were recent discussions between those involved in the investigation in reference to numerous Ransomware attacks occurring in the United States right now.

There have been other systems outside Ohio who did pay a ransom when it was requested in order to regain access to their data. Paying the ransom did not ensure a quick re-access to the information they were locked out of nor guarantee every piece of data was able to be retrieved again.

As the current Ransomware is still under investigation in Fayette County, whether or not a ransom has been requested cannot be shared with the public at this time, according to officials.

Those working to bring the system back into being fully operational will work through the weekend as they did this previous weekend.

“We’ll continue to bring things up as fast as we can,” said Dean.

Any questions regarding this matter can be directed to the Fayette County Commissioners’ office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday-Friday. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House and the phone number is 740-335-0720.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]