Genesee County's email system not functional after ransomware hack

Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 5:49 PM EDT
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(4/3/2019) - Genesee County leaders are working with state police and the FBI to figure out how the county's computer system was hacked.

They say a virus found its way into their system and held data Tuesday, demanding payment.

It was described to ABC12 like this: you show up to work and all of the doors are padlocked. The key to those locks is being held by someone who wants you to pay them for it. The frustrating part -- those doors have windows, so the county can see the data, they just can't get to it.

"Don't get me wrong, it doesn't make doing our job easy. But, we're still managing to function in the areas that we can still function. And, we're trying to service the public the best that we can," explained Joshua Freeman, the Genesee County Board of Commissioners' Coordinator.

He said the public will likely only be impacted when it comes to how they interact with their county government. Because their email was hacked, you have to call anyone you're trying to contact, until this issue is resolved.

Freeman said they realized the systems had been attacked Tuesday afternoon; and, the IT Department called in an outside firm to help.

They've been working late nights because this is a very slow process.

Freeman doesn't believe at this point that any employee's personal information has been compromised.

"Do I think that Genesee County could've been more secure? Yeah probably. But, what company or what entity couldn't be more secure, right? Like I said, it's not unique to Genesee County. We've all experienced this personally and we've seen some of the biggest companies in the world that have had breaches in data.," Freeman said.

He added he's not sure if the county will be able to get all of it's data back, but he's still hopeful.

If all goes to plan everything will be resolved by tonight.