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County’s IT Outage Is Under Active Investigation

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Over the Easter weekend there was a noticeable disruption of Hernando County’s Information Technology (IT) Services. Many of the county government websites were unreachable.

There has been much discussion on social media and in the news media about whether this was a ransomware attack and/or if data was stolen. With the little information that has been provided and the length of the outage, it is understandable that people are fearing the worst.

The County has contacted the Federal Government Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Digital Florida and they are working with the Clerk’s Office Incident Response Team. The Clerk’s Office runs the county’s IT Department. Digital Florida addresses cybersecurity incidents at the state level.

The Hernando County Property Appraiser, Clerk of Court’s Office, Building Department, and others are still down as of Thursday evening. The main County website is operating, but many of the links to departments are being affected by the outage, but most are still operating.

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The Property Appraiser’s online property information is unavailable and their offices are closed (Brooksville office will reopen on April 8), which has adversely affected other services. Both the Building Department and the Zoning Department are limited by the property appraiser’s information not being available. The Building Department is accepting paper permits and Zoning is accepting paper applications.

Emergency services such as the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, 911, and the Fire Department are operational during this outage. The Hernando County Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections websites are also functioning. Libraries are open.

Email has been down for many county employees. This means that responses are delayed. For the current status of county service, you can check their website page.

It is standard practice to prepare for IT outages ahead of time and have a playbook ready of the steps that will be taken. This allows a thought out response even though these events usually take place at times when much of the staff is not available. From the information provided about the incident this appears to be what has been taking place.

The County’s IT outage is under active investigation and therefore information is closely guarded. At the close of the investigation more details will be available.

Rocco Maglio
Rocco Magliohttps://www.roccomaglio.com
Rocco Maglio is a co-founder of the Hernando Sun. He grew up in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High. He then worked in technology for starting in the early 1990s. He was fascinated by the potential of the Internet even though at the time there were not graphical browsers. He recently earned a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Cybersecurity.
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