Ga., Lawrenceville, Henry County in recovery mode after cyber attack

Henry County's computer system remained down early Monday, five days after malware is suspected to have been planted in the south metro community's network.

Websites for various departments such as state court, tax assessor and board of commissioners continued Monday to be inaccessible and there still has not been a demand for ransom, officials said. Public safety such as police and fire were not impacted by the malware.

Henry is the latest government agency to have its computer network attacked in metro Atlanta in the last 30 days. On July 1, the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts said it had been hit in late June by ransomware that could impact courts that used its software. On Friday, Lawrenceville’s Police Department announced it too had been attacked.

The growing list follows an attack last year of the City of Atlanta government's system, which included a demand for a $51,000 ransom. The city did not pay.

Henry county officials had said last week that the system may not be rebooted until some time this week at the earliest. Officials, however, hope to have a temporary site up and running in “the next few days” to at least provide residents with updated information, Erika Richards, a county spokeswoman, said.

“Everything’s really the same,” she said. “We’re in recovery mode right now.”

The Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts has been slowly restoring affiliated websites such as the Juvenile Data Exchange of the Judicial Council of Georgia and the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, but the cite is not fully functional. The office said it had received a note demanding payment, but was not given further instructions.

“We can now confirm that it is ransomware and a note was found requesting contact but containing no further details such as amounts or demands,” the office said on its website.

Lieutenant J.O. Parker of the Lawrenceville Police said Monday the attack did not impact public safety operations, but hit email, online scheduling and training and forced officers to call in information like tag numbers and licences instead of inputting them into a computer. The department has not received a ransom demand as of yet.

“What officers have to do is radio everything in,” he said. “But we’re resourceful and using the old ways to make it work.”