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Butler County Sheriff’s Office computer network hacked, key systems down since Christmas Eve

The sheriff says all essential services are operating, though not all systems are back to normal.
Updated: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:27 PM EST
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says malware activity was recently detected on the sheriff’s office computer network.

Jones says there is no evidence at this time that the office’s information has been compromised and they continue to actively monitor the situation.

The dispatch center’s automated computer system was down for approximately 10 days after the malware kicked in, according to the sheriff, meaning dispatchers were doing their job with pen and paper.

The system went back online Tuesday.

“As soon as we learned this, we began working to investigate, to restore operations, and determine the effects of the incident. We also are working with nationally recognized third-party cybersecurity consultants to assist us,” Jones said.

The sheriff says all essential services are operating, though not all systems are back to normal.

Jones says the issue is 95 percent resolved.

The concern now is what, if any, data was obtained through the malware. Jones says it does not appear as of now that any personal data was compromised.

Jones says the FBI has been notified and several groups are working on the investigation, including the IT department at the sheriff’s office as well as staff at the prosecutor’s office should the possibility of a prosecution arise.

“Our concern now is to make sure we get everything up and running and we keep our public safe,” he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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