Meck Co officials will not pay hackers ransom for servers being held

Diorio said the county hadn't ruled out paying the ransom, but understood that could be risky. The county is reportedly considering whether to pay the hacker. DSS is asking people with reservations to call the customer service line (704-336-4547) to confirm their reservations, through December 11.

"Based on its attributes, it looks like the criminals are from either Iran or the Ukraine", Diorio said during the press conference.

Anyone who made transportation reservations through DSS/MTS, including reservations made for bus passes and vendor transportation for trips scheduled through December 11, is asked to call Customer Connections to confirm transportation. Diorio said she doesn't believe the hackers have access to personal information.

As of Wednesday morning, the hacker's identity and location were unknown. Deputies were processing jail inmates by hand and building code inspectors switched to paper records after a county employee unleashed the malicious software earlier this week by opening an email attachment.

Kinston's tech experts say it's a little unusual that it's taking Mecklenburg County this long to get all its servers restored.

All county-wide ITS systems will be shut down until further notice, the county announced.

"If we don't pay, we will have to rebuild applications from scratch and that will take even longer", Diorio said.

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Mecklenburg County, which is home to more than 1 million residents and includes Charlotte, the state's most populous city, has had contact with Gov. Roy Cooper's office, the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and with companies including Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte.

According to Diorio, a county employee clicked an attachment in an email they shouldn't have, exposing the files to the hackers, who are demanding 2 Bitcoin, or $23,000, in ransom money to release the files.

"It's concerning when this happens to government, it's concerning to an individual when this happens to themselves", County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour said Tuesday night. "There's multiple departments that are going back to old-school paper processes", county spokesman Danny Diehl said around 9:30 a.m.

Diorio is now working with a "third party forensic expert" to navigate the county's next steps.

"We're continuing to try and manage as best we can".

Anyone planning to go to a county office to conduct business is asked to call the office prior to their visit to make sure they can actually be served.

No other details have been released.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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