TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/AP) – The Vigo County government computer system was attacked by a malware program that has affected daily operations, according to a news release.
Sid Stamm, an associate professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, said this has become a common occurrence on government servers.
“We’ve been seeing this pop up all over the place, many different government municipalities,” Stamm said. “Many different types of corporations. It’s kinda happening to everybody right now.”
Vigo County Commissioner Judith Anderson says commissioners were informed of a “ransomware” attack early Tuesday.
Employees are unable to access some information stored on internal servers.
According to the news release, the county IT department is working with its information technology security contractor to control the issue.
According to Stamm, if the county has the servers backed up, one solution would be erasing the data.
“If you’ve been keeping back ups of your software and your data, then the easiest thing to do is just to erase the affected computers and re-install from back ups,” Stamm explained. “Usually the IT department has to do this because it, you know, can be a little complicated when it involves a server. But that’s usually how remediation happens.”
All Vigo County government departments are open as usual; however there may be service interruption during the repair process.
Vigo County commissioners have not been able to confirm if the virus is malware or ransomware.
According to Stamm, ransomware is a software that once attached to a server, can lock up files and demand money for them to be released.
“So the bad guys don’t really care what information they’ve locked up. The bad guys care that they’ve locked it up and you will pay them money to get it back,” Stamm explained. “So they’re not actually gonna use that information, but they’re relying on you needing that information.”
Commissioner Brendan Kearns was able to confirm there is no evidence of any personal information being compromised by the attack.
LaPorte County in northwest Indiana was the target of a ransomware attack earlier this month, paying $132,000 to regain control of its computers.