Butler County recovering from ransomware

Published: Sep. 18, 2017 at 10:57 PM CDT
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Butler County is still recovering from a computer system hack that left their system held for ransom.

Tyler Norris works in downtown El Dorado, and the ransomed county site stopped him.

"I'm a business owner downtown so I tried to get on about a week, and wondered why it wasn't work, and saw their post on Facebook, surprised me a bit," said Norris.

The ransomware attack impacted Butler County's entire computer system from law enforcement software for the jail, county attorney and even 9-1-1.

"They verified that no data was taken, the whole purpose of this was strictly a ransomware attack and try to hold out and see if we could decrypt or pay the ransom," said Butler County administrator, William Johnson.

Johnson says he doesn't know if they paid the ransomware because they contracted with a firm through their insurance company.

They are about 95 percent back to normal.

"It's not just as easy as you flip a switch and you're back in business, a lot of the stuff we were able to recover but it takes a long time."

Some safety changes will include rotating passwords.

"We're going to do some internal things as well, maybe requiring third party verification," said Johnson.

Hacking, breaches and ransomware are becoming common terms to most of us.

"I spent quite a few years in IT doing some work in data centers back out East and you just have to try to stay ahead of the curve the best you can," said Norris.

The county administrator doesn't think they were a target for any other reason than hackers are constantly looking for a way in.

He tells us their insurance company alone dealt with 100 cases of this in local government.