Officials at the Morrow County Courthouse, along with the FBI ,have launched an investigation into an outside party who gained access to the court system’s record storage system.
Earlier this week, records kept in an online database in the Morrow County Clerk of Courts Office were compromised by ransomware that had affected the office’s file management system.
“When we got on the computer that was affected there was a ransomware, which none of us had ever heard of before,” Clerk of Courts Vanessa Mills told reporters.
A third party was able to gain access to the sensitive case files stored with the clerk’s office and bar employees at the courthouse from retrieving them.
The hacker demanded a ransom of three Bitcoin, which is estimated to be $1,600 USD to unlock the files so that Morrow County Court employees could get into the system.
Mills along with Morrow County Prosecutor Charles Howland say that although the information in their system was frozen, hackers were not able to take it off the site.
The files, which contain enough information for potential identity theft, remained in the court system’s possession and Mills says ensuring residents’ identites are not stolen is the office’s top priority.
Furthering the initial concern spurred by the cyber attack, the clerk office’s back-up system was damaged during a storm earlier this spring. A fact discovered this week.
The clerk’s office is being aided by the Ohio Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office to get its system back online, as well as installing additional security measures.
Reach Jones at 419-946-3010