Local state of emergency declared in Curry County over ransomware attack

CURRY COUNTY, Ore. – A county in disarray.

“In the IT world, this is the Cascadia event,” Curry County commissioner Brad Alcorn said. 

Coastal Curry County dealing with a ransomware attack shutting down its entire online database.

Commissioner Alcorn said there’s no email access, historical documents are gone and any online data or documents are unreachable.

“Curry County’s digital footprint has been wiped away,” he said. “We’ve got to essentially rebuild and start over from zero, from scratch.”

The county first learned of the attack by ‘Royal Ransomware Group’ on April 26.

Two weeks later, the issue still hasn’t been resolved, leading to commissioners declaring a local state of emergency.

“If you walked into our emergency operations center right now, it would look like we are dealing with a large wildfire in a populated area, it’s that dramatic,” Alcorn said.

Alcorn said all county computers are unusable, even for simple tasks.

“If you’re selling a house right now in Curry County and you need to get that recorded, we can’t do that right now,” he said.

According to Alcorn, several non-profits, other counties and the governor’s office are helping.

He said other counties across the U.S. have seen similar attacks.

This one, comes less than a week before the special election on May 16, but he said it will be handled.

“Our elections team will be able to process all of our ballots in a secure and private manner,” Alcorn said.

Alcorn said the financial impact of the attack is currently unknown, but it’s bound to have a ripple effect on the budget.

He asks the residents of Curry County to be patient, as they try get back online.

“It’s not going to be over in a week,” Alcorn said. “And that’s what’s unique about this, you come into Curry County right now and it’s beautiful. You don’t see this. You don’t see the devastation and the impact of a cyber attack that we’re experiencing.”

Alcorn tells NBC5, at this moment, they’re not sure how many, or if people’s personal information has been exposed as a result.

He said they will be letting residents know as they continue to go through this process.

Multiple federal agencies are investigating the ransomware attack.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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