East Windsor's cyber breach is a textbook example of why you shouldn't open an unfamiliar email with links or attachments.

In its first update since March on a cyber breach, East Windsor Township officials said personal data and files were downloaded as part of an “encryption attack.”

The township initially called it "suspicious activity" that was first discovered on March 7. The system was taken offline and a cybersecurity company was hired to restore its operations. The township also conducted an investigation.

"As this investigation progressed, it revealed that the township was a victim of an encryption event. We only recently learned that certain files may have been downloaded from the Township’s network without authorization," the township said in a statement.

The township did not disclose if the breach was ransomware or if any individual or organization had been paid.

Files downloaded, data accessed

The unauthorized access to the system also allowed access to "certain data relating to individuals associated with the township" although there does not appear to be any misuse of the data. All those who have been affected have been offered free access to credit monitoring, fraud consultation, and identity theft restoration services. There is no evidence of any misuse of the data, according to the township.

All of the impacted individuals have been notified via U.S. Mail. The township Thursday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for the number of individuals notified.

Township manager Jim Brady told NJ.com that between 900 and 1,000 people were affected.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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