CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County officials have decided to not pay hackers $23,000 to unfreeze files on dozens of affected servers. Since Monday, systems were down.
The announcement came Wednesday evening hours after the Mecklenburg County manager told the public she would make a decision by the end of the day. The decision came after consulting with experts in cyber security.
In a statement from the county she says, “I am confident that our backup data is secure and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves,” said Diorio. “It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all of our systems will be back up and running as soon as possible.”
Officials say they will use backup data to fix the problem and rebuild applications from scratch instead of paying the criminals thousands of dollars who are located in either Iran or Ukraine. The time difference was also a factor in their decision-making.
“It was going to take almost as long to fix the system after paying the ransom as it does to fix it ourselves,” she said. “And there was no guarantee that paying the criminals was a sure fix,” Dioro says.
They say the Health and Human Services, the court system and the Land Use and Environmental Services will be handled first. Officials ask that the public be patient with the process as it could take days for the system to be restored.
The city of Charlotte has not been affected by the breach. Their services are on a different system.