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Madison County computers were hacked with ransomware virus

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File photo | EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — A ransomware computer virus infecting computers in Madison County offices is limiting employee access to computer files and functions.

Madison County Clerk Kim Muir tells EastIdahNews.com a ransomware virus infected the system Sunday night but wasn’t discovered until Monday while employees were gone for Columbus Day. The ransomware virus, which locks up the computer until the user pays for renewed access, has impacted email usage, employee payroll and access to digital files. Muir says they have no intention of paying the ransom.

“We don’t know a lot about how it happened or anything. We’ve got great IT people working to get our systems back up to where they need to be,” Muir says.

Muir says the computer ARTS program, which is used by most of the departments for recording, payroll and other financial issues, was restored Wednesday. Access was restored because the IT staff backed up a lot of the data, Muir says.

“We had to have some people here Tuesday night as soon as they got it back up to make sure that employees got paid this morning,” says Muir.

Many of the files that were encrypted have since been restored. As of Thursday morning, Muir says they still do not have access to email, but hope to have it restored by Thursday afternoon.

If you’ve sent any email communication to county employees, there may be delays in getting a response.

With election day right around the corner, some have requested absentee ballots. Email requests will remain unanswered until the system is back online, but you can still request a ballot over the phone at (208) 359-6200.

Bingham County ended up paying more than $3,000 in ransom after it was unable to fully recover from an attack on county servers in 2017.

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