The Voice • April 2019

The Orange County computer network in North Carolina was struck with a ransomware virus – causing a county-wide shutdown of offices and services within the county courthouse, libraries and the Sheriff’s Office. In particular, the Register of Deeds Office was unable to process real estate closings or issue marriage licenses.

When the virus hit late last month, the source of the attack was unclear to the IT Department. The virus – which wasn’t the first to strike Orange County – was able to transfer onto servers that had not been compromised in previous attacks. The severity of the attack was not initially apparent at all.

Orange County’s Chief Information Officer Jim Northrup stated, “This morning was a total freak-out. We shut everything down – and told everyone not to turn their computers on.” [1]

Fortunately for Orange County, an adequate disaster recovery procedure was in place. When the attack occurred their backup system was able to perform and keep protected data safe.