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Don’t Pay the Ransom!

County Government Shut Down by Ransomware

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ANDERSON, IN., November 7, 2016 – On the advice of their insurance company Madison County officials are moving forward to pay the ransom demands by a unknown group that attacked the county’s computer system. Madison County was hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend that prevented access to county records. County officials are hoping the problem will be resolved by Wednesday once the encryption code is received from the hackers. “We’re following the directions of our insurance carrier,” Madison County Commissioner John Richwine said Monday. “No records have been lost. We just can’t access the data,” he said. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents access to computers by its rightful users through file encryption until a specified amount of money is paid. Richwine said it is a concern and that the county was preparing to upgrade the anti-virus software when the attack took place. “We’re in the process of adding a backup system,” she said.

Work on the table

Most county offices were open on Monday with Madison Circuit Court Division 1 and 3 continuing operations by tracking court activities by hand. Circuit Court Division 6 Judge Mark Dudley continued Monday’s court hearings to another date. Auditor Jane Lyons closed her office on Monday after the commissioners gave officeholders the option. Lyons said her employees were taking either vacation or personal time off. “Without the computer system there could be no work done,” Lyons said. “We have to access all our information on the computers.” In May, DeKalb Health of Auburn was the victim of a ransomware attack. It’s not known if the hospital paid the ransom. It’s hard to believe that a large county government would allow their systems to be at risk like this. When your data is not protected, you have little choice but to pay the ransom.

The Rest of the Story

The reason we told our client “Don’t Pay the Ransom” is because their data was secure in our backup facilities. All we had to do was clean their system of the virus and restore their data from backup.In just a few hours they were up and running again, unlike this Indiana government office which was down for days.

The Lesson for You:

Be CERTAIN that you backup your data every hour. Store it in a secure location and test your backups to ensure you can access them. Maintain Virus protection. Don’t wait until a disaster like this strikes to do something. Protect your business before you get a ransom note. We have a simple plan the protects your data and gives you peace of mind. Let’s talk so you’ll never have to worry about being held hostage like this city was. Learn more here.


Ryan Flynn is President of Network Services Group in North Little Rock, and the author of Invasion of the Data Snatchers. He loves to secure greater results for business owners by giving them IT and telephone networks that actually work. Say hi to Ryan at

This content is sponsored by Network Services Group.

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