ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Il. l- There’s been a cyber attack in Belleville on the computer systems of St. Clair County government. Frustrations from residents to county workers are mounting. FOX2 has confirmed the attack was discovered last Friday.
Issues have now dragged into a 7th day. People have just about had it from the courthouse to the sheriff’s department to the jail. There was a bit of good news late Thursday afternoon.
The county’s IT Director, Jeff Sandusky sent a statement to FOX 2 News saying the restoration of online services was underway.
“Beginning around May 28, St. Clair County became aware of a cybersecurity incident involving our computer systems,” Sandusky said. “We immediately responded to secure our systems and commence an investigation into the nature and scope of the incident. As part of our initial response, we also notified appropriate law enforcement authorities of this incident and will continue to cooperate with them as needed. We have been working diligently with industry-leading third-party cybersecurity specialists to investigate the source of this disruption and confirm the impact on our systems. This joint team has been working around the clock to restore full functionality to our systems as quickly as possible in a safe and secure manner. The investigation is early in the process, and we are still working to understand how the incident may have impacted any data stored within our systems. We have substantial resources dedicated to this process and we will provide relevant updates as the investigation progresses. Many services have already been restored and the remaining should be available shortly. We appreciate the County residents’ patience and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.”Jeff Sandusky, St. Clair County IT Director
A ransomware group is claiming responsibility for the attack. Typically, such groups “lift” private data from computer systems and offer to transfer the data back for money (ransom). The county shut down its system to limit any data breach and determine the extent of the attack. County offices and residents have been struggling without online services. Things may be the worst at the county jail. We’ve heard from multiple families who say their loved ones have been held for days because jail staff can’t process their release.
When we asked the jail supervisor about it, she referred us to Sandusky who could not give a timeline for getting the jail back online.