County’s IT system has been hacked; FBI investigates

CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County government’s information is under assault.

“The county’s IT [information technology] system has been hacked,” Sheriff James W. Phillips Jr. told the Banner on Tuesday morning. “It’s a ransomware attack, where they’re demanding payment in Bitcoin.”

The response is already underway.

“The FBI is involved in it,” the sheriff said. “Some Maryland State-level IT people are involved.”

“Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it,” information from www.security.berkley.edu says.

Bitcoin is a digital currency used online.

UPDATE
The Banner asked County Manager Keith Adkins on Tuesday for information on the hacking. On Wednesday morning, he responded with the following press release:
“The Dorchester County servers were hacked Monday evening. The FBI and Maryland Department of Information and Technology are investigating and the National Guard is offering assistance through MEMA [Maryland Emergency Management Agency]. Public Safety, the tax system and personnel files are not affected at this time. Council would like to thank the Governor’s Office, agencies on site and the surrounding counties that have offered their services.”
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

In other local government news, members of the Dorchester County Council will meet in closed session on Friday, Jan. 31 at noon to conduct interviews.