Mecklenburg County won't pay hacker, Kinston had previous ransomware attack

Mecklenburg County won't pay hacker, Kinston had previous ransomware attack

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. "And there was no guarantee that paying the criminals was a sure fix".

The county said the systems that will be restored first will be those relating to the divisions of health and human services, courts and land use and environmental services.

In a statement from the county she says, "I am confident that our backup data is secure and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves", said Diorio.

The CIO pointed out that events similar to the hack in Mecklenburg County will continue to happen around the world, and require public officials to be continually on guard against cyberintruders.

It is still not clear whether the county will pay the ransom.

Diorio said the county decided not to pay after consulting cyber security experts.

The officials also weighed whether any encryption key would actually work to unlock the servers and whether they would then be completely free of the ransomware.

Departments affected by the outage are implementing contingency plans.

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

WBTV says county officials were considering whether to pay the ransom.

Among the affected services is the county's Department of Social Services transportation scheduling system. And the social services department is working to recreate its daily itinerary of 1,600 rides for elderly patients with medical appointments.

The hackers demanded a ransom of $23,000, but on Wednesday Diorio refused to pay, saying the county's backup systems could restore much of what had been disabled. The local tax office is also struggling to process payments.

This all started when a county worker clicked on an email that was infected.

County Manager Dena Diorio said Tuesday she is debating whether to pay the ransom.

During a Wednesday press conference on Facebook Live, the county manager stressed that while 48 of the county's 500 servers were impacted, as well as multiple applications that run through those servers, no sensitive or confidential information is believed to have been compromised. Credit card information is not saved on servers. The state's largest city issued a statement that its separate computer systems have not been affected and that it severed direct connections to county computers. On Tuesday, employees couldn't print, call centers were down, and the code enforcement office had no access to electronic files stored on servers.

This is a developing story.