Pottawatomie Co. pays ransom after cyber attack Sept. 17

Kansas

(File – Nexstar)

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY (KSNT) – Pottawatomie County released a statement Friday saying officials are making progress restoring computer systems following a ransomware attack on several of their servers on Sept. 17.

The Sheriff’s Office and emergency response systems were not impacted.

According to authorities, the county was negotiating with the hackers to reduce the ransom demand.

“The ransom was reduced by more than 90% from hackers’ original demand, an almost unheard-of outcome, every saved dollar of which is taxpayer revenue the county keeps to serve our citizens,” said County Administrator Chad Kinsley.

The negotiation took several days to resolve.

“We are a small county with small resources,” Kinsley said. “With the extraordinary demands
that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on local governments like ours, we wanted to make
sure that the hackers understood that there was no way we could even come close to meeting
their demand,” he said. “We were focused on protecting taxpayers and doing everything we
could to resolve the issue with as little as possible. We believe we succeeded at that.”

A statement from the county confirmed the IT team has installed additional sensors to detect and prevent additional attacks.

According to the statement, all county offices are open and serving the public.

The only systems that are still down are for email and driver’s licenses, which are not managed by the County.

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