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North Carolina County refuses to pay $ 23,000 in ransom to hackers


Dena R. Diorio, manager of Mecklenburg County, N.C., discussing the recent rape at a press conference in Charlotte on Wednesday.

Diedra Laird / The Charlotte Observer, through Associated Press

In a world shaken by evil hackers, trolls and online of all kinds, good Internet people have long sought a hero who would refuse to back down . Finally, someone has said that enough is enough. And that someone is the county government of Mecklenburg, N.C.

The county, which includes the city of Charlotte, said on Wednesday it would not pay a ransom of $ 23,000 to a group of hackers who took control of several government computer systems. The breach was announced on Tuesday when the county government said on Twitter that it was "experiencing an interruption of the computer system."

"I am confident that our backup data is safe and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves," Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager, said in a statement Wednesday. "It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all our systems will be working again as soon as possible."

Mecklenburg is the most populous county in North Carolina, and the attack compromised many of its systems. . But on Wednesday he said he was "open for business, albeit somewhat slower with limited access to systems." Without the Internet, public officials were doing their job using "paper processes," he said.

Officials said they believed that the hackers had not obtained the personal information of any employee or private citizen. The specific systems included those of the tax advisor's office and the Parks and Recreation and Social Services Departments, the county said in a statement.

Ransomware violations are not uncommon. In May, tens of thousands of computers in more than 70 countries were attacked by a ransomware attack that used stolen software from the National Security Agency. The following month, a second ransomware attack swept across more than 64 countries.

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