Montgomery County 911 working via “pen and paper” after reported ransomware attack on county servers

Though county officials have not officially confirmed, multiple employees have reported the county IT department is battling a #ransomware attack that has disabled all county computer systems, servers, and user accounts – including 911 operators, who say they’re working on “pen and paper” as of Saturday mid-day.

The county first acknowledged the outage at 8:10 Friday morning, with a social media post stating:

“Internet services are down in all Montgomery County Government offices. An update will be made once services are working again. Please call in advance before visiting a County department to verify that they can provide you the services needed without the Internet. Thank you for your patience.”

FB: Montgomery County, Tennessee

Multiple county employees report last being able to connect to any county networks late Thursday evening. The County has not responded to phone/text inquiries about the outage or issued any official statement. All emails that were sent to the county’s email accounts since the outage are now being returned to the original sender after a 24-hour timeout period. It is unknown how this will impact future records request, or how much data was lost or able to be restored, or how recently a backup occurred due to the county not commenting on the situation.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available. Ransomware is defined as a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid – typically getting into the network and past the firewall due to a phishing email opened by someone from within the network.

Jason Steen

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