[BreachExchange] After cyber attack, Genesee County could pay $1.8 million to avoid a repeat

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Mon Aug 19 10:07:45 EDT 2019


GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- County officials are ready to spend $1.8 million
to fix serious problems with their technology network, a system that
was attacked by a ransomware-type virus earlier this year.

The county Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval Wednesday,
Aug. 14, to a series of spending requests to upgrade its computer
network, data center, information technology security, phone system,
and audio and video equipment.

“Every one of these investments is absolutely necessary ... The county
right now is in not much better position than we were when the event
happened,” Chief Information Officer Carl Wilson told commissioners

In a memo to the board, Wilson said nearly all technology
infrastructure in county government “has reached the end of its useful
life and is no longer supported by the manufacturers.”

WIlson was hired in May to help it rebuild the county IT office, which
oversees and coordinates all information resources and software
training, including information and data processing, hardware and
software, telecommunications and office automation.

His hiring came after a crippling ransomeware attack on the county’s
computer network in April, an event that locked the county out of some
of its own data.

Since that time, officials have been expecting proposals to update
software and server systems, knowing it would be costly.

Resolutions given preliminary approval this week call for payments to
be made from county reserves, which stand at about $39 million.

“It’s unfortunate but I agree these are things we have to do ...,”
said Commissioner Mark Young. “I realize we kind of got a rude
awakening (that in) quite a few (areas), we were behind the times.”

The smallest of the spending requests -- $45,734 -- would improve the
audio and video located in the auditorium of the county administration
building, officials said.

Although the current equipment is currently used to broadcast meetings
of the commission online, those broadcasts have consistent problems
with garbled audio.

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