Ransomware attack affecting LaSalle County’s technology

Ransomware attack affecting LaSalle County's technology

LASALLE COUNTY (HOI) — The LaSalle County government is seeing a big interruption to its services this week.

The county is dealing with a ransomware attack on its computers that was discovered by the Sheriff’s Office last Sunday.

Ransomware is a virus which locks up all the files on a computer, as hackers demand a ransom, such as money, to release them.

The county’s IT Director John Haag said this virus is locking up about 200 computers and about 40 servers in the county government.

About a week later, county employees still do not have access to their emails.

Haag said they are not giving in to the hacker’s demands.

“We’re just not paying the ransom. We’re blowing away the computers and restoring from backup. It could take months to try and decrypt one file,” said Haag.

He said they use a third party company for file backups, giving them the ability to reset the computers from scratch.

With Illinois’ primary elections two weeks away, Haag said the county’s election proceedings will not be affected.

“Election is secure and nothing’s been compromised with our elections and it’s proceeding as our election was proceeding prior to. We have some affected PCs in the (County Clerk’s) department but it doesn’t affect the overall operation with how election security works,” Haag said.

The timeline for a complete fix, however, is unknown.

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