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Pottawatomie County Fixing Systems After Ransomware Attack

Computer systems are being restored in Pottawatomie County are after hackers launched a ransomware attack on Sept. 17, county officials said Friday.

The county resolved the attack by paying less than 10% of the hackers’ original demands, County Administrator Chad Kinsley said in a statement.

The eastern Kansas county did not disclose the amount it paid, WIBW-TV reported.

“We are a small county with small resources,” Kinsley said. “With the extraordinary demands that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on local governments like ours, we wanted to make sure that the hackers understood that there was no way we could even come close to meeting their demand.”

Technical workers have installed more sensors on all servers to prevent further attacks. The investigation into how the hackers gained access to the system is continuing.

County staff is working to get about 150 computers running again, which can take up to eight hours per machine, the county said.

Most county offices are open and functioning but wait times for some services might be longer than normal, according to the statement.

County email and the driver’s license system are still down but the county does not manage those systems.

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