Investigation continues into ransomware attack in Spartanburg County

The FBI is investigating an apparent ransomware attack on Spartanburg County's computer system on Thursday
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 1:31 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An investigation is underway after Spartanburg County officials said a ransomware attack was detected on their network.

On April 27, a ransomware attack was detected on the county’s computer network. The source is still unknown. According to the county spokesperson, as soon as they noticed it, they began investigating to restore operations and determine the effects of the incident.

Following the attack, a spokesperson for the county released the following statement:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the agency has been notified about the attack. They would not provide any additional details.

However, there’s a myriad of other questions surrounding just how bad the security breach is. And the people FOX Carolina spoke with wonder if they’ll feel it in the months, or years to come.

Travis Dogan was just going to pay his taxes at Spartanburg County’s Administrative Offices when he went from talking dollars and cents to cybersecurity and IT.

“If the FBI is involved, it’s bad,” Dogan said. “(Ransomware) attacks the system and then they have access to everything that can be looked up. your identity. Addresses, phone numbers — everything in here.”

While Dogan seemed informed, other people FOX Carolina tried to speak with seemed a bit in the dark.

“How did they get access? And what information do they have,” Dogan said. “Our system should have been protected from the beginning.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the county says they’re working with third-party cybersecurity consultants, and the county’s IT department and forensic teams are still working to test and recover impacted systems.

“It’s ransomware, so they have what they need. Or what they want,” Dogan said. “And then sometimes they can charge you to get it back.”

According to the Justice Department ransomware is the world’s biggest cybercrime headache impacting schools, governments, healthcare and retail. Last year, they saved victims $130 million in payments but just this February, the US Marshals Service computer system suffered a major breach.

On Monday, systems in Spartanburg County were still being impacted by the ransomware attack, although essential services are operating. A spokesperson for the county released the following update:

Stay with FOX Carolina for updates on this developing story.