Malware attack on county computers

Vidya Kora

La PORTE – All La Porte County government emails, and the county website, will be out of commission for "at least a couple of days" following a malware virus attack on Saturday morning.

La Porte County Board of Commissioners President Dr. Vidya Kora said Sunday evening that he advised county employees and members of the public needing to access any county government email or website that the system will be inoperable as authorities respond to a “malicious malware attack that occurred on Saturday morning that has disabled our computer and email systems.”

An insurance policy taken out last year will help the county recover, Kora said,

“Fortunately, our county liability agent of record, John Jones, last year recommended a cybersecurity insurance policy which the county commissioners authorized from Travelers Insurance" he said.

"We informed Travelers Insurance late Saturday of the malware attack and they immediately referred us to the Wayne, Pennsylvania, incident-response law firm of Mullen Coughlin LLC that specializes in responses to such cyber-attacks and coordinates system repairs and protection of our computers from further such virus infections," Kora said.

Several county officials, including Kora, Council President Randy Novak, along with the auditor, county attorney and IT Department took part in a conference call late Sunday morning with the incident response team assembled by Mullen Coughlin," Kora said.

The call was "to develop a game plan to respond to the attack and come up with an approach to repair our systems and protect them from further damage."

Mullen Coughlin will also assist in preparing documentation to report the attack to the FBI and other appropriate law enforcement agencies, Kora said.

“Mullen Coughlin has dispatched experts who will be arriving on the scene later [Sunday night] to assist our County IT department," he said.

"I commend our IT Director Darlene Hale and her team for shutting down our systems Saturday afternoon as soon as the malware virus was detected. Unfortunately, at least half our servers have been infected and it will take some time to fully restore service. I ask for patience from members of the public as we seek to become fully operational again.”

– From staff reports

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