County computers back online after hack

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

LaGRANGE – Work is finally starting to return to normal for some county departments after almost a week of hard work by county employees, law enforcement and computer insurance specialists to get computers that were hacked early Friday morning back online.

County officials expressed their gratitude for the hardworking employees, and their relief that all information indicates that the hack that froze county computer systems was not able to access any personal information of county residents or employees.

“All assurances that we have gotten from the insurance, from law enforcement, from IT is that no personal information was attained,” said County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews.

In response to the hack, the county plans to hold employee education sessions on computer safety, and the county has joined with the city to purchase Carbon Black Security for government systems to protect computers more thoroughly than the Viper and McAffee software that the county used prior to the computer attack. According to Tentler, anti-virus software was updated daily prior to the attack.

“We have an outside team looking at how they got in,” said Tentler who is working closely with the team to make sure that the hack has minimal effects on county residents.

Even with computers coming back online, the county will face the costs of additional labor for employees who have worked “around the clock” to repair county systems, as well as other work that will need to be caught up on once all the computers are back online.

“One week of lost productivity of people who have had to focus on the computers is a lot,” said Crews. “… At this point we are still trying to assess the damage (to the budget).”

Tentler stated that the county did not have an estimate of the labor cost of the hack to the county at this time as all focus has been dedicated to getting systems up and running again.

County officials had no comment on reports that the county paid a ransom to the hacker to help get the computers back online.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.