Some Somerset County, NJ government services on pause during cyberattack
Technology workers in Somerset County continue to evaluate the severity of the ransomware cyberattack on its network.
The country first reported the breach on Tuesday. The breach took down the county email system and caused the postponement of the Board of Commissioners meeting. County Clerk's Office services that depend on access to county databases are temporarily unavailable, such as land records, vital statistics,and probate records.
"So far it's just access to our server system and our email that's been affected," county spokesman Nathan Rudy told New Jersey 101.5.
Temporary Gmail accounts have been created to allow some communication via email.
How bad is the attack?
Rudy said that the 911 communications center, which serves a large portion of the county, the Somerset County Jail, emergency services and the health department, are still functioning normally.
The update did not disclose details about the attack such as what is being demanded.
"At this point, the insurance company and the county prosecutor and the feds are working that issue," Rudy said.
The calendar for mail-in, early, and in-person voting for the upcoming primary is not affected by the outage as the state has already delivered its "election in a box" to ensure an election can proceed. Digital records and voting machines are not connected to the county system.
The only impact to the election process is that replacement mail ballots can only be obtained by telephone or visiting the County Clerk’s office.
Rudy said a connection to a cyberattack in March on East Windsor's system is still under investigation. In a statement Wednesday the Mercer County township said it was the victim of an “encryption attack" that led to certain files being downloaded.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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