Georgetown County South Carolina continues to recover from cyber attack
February 22, 2021
Georgetown County government has
restored email service for about half of
its staff, but continues to work through
issues created on Jan. 22, when the
county's network was brought down by a
ransomware attack. The county's IT staff
will spend the coming weeks continuing
to restore emails to staff, restore
network connectivity and and clean
computers that were infected during the
attack. The county is also making
security improvements in an effort to
prevent such attacks in the future.
The network breach was traced to an email received by a county staff member. It was a very sophisticated attempt to gain access to the county network, according to cyber security experts working with the county. Details about the ransom and individuals or groups it may have been linked to are not available as the crime remains under investigation. Georgetown County did not pay the ransom, opting to rebuild its system instead.
While the breach impacted most of the county’s electronic systems, 911 and operations at the Detention Center were not affected. The county had insurance against cyber attacks in place at the time of the breach, and called in the State Law Enforcement Division and an expert cyber security team immediately once the attack was discovered. No evidence has been found to indicate that any private information, including that belonging to employees or taxpayers, has been compromised.