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Was there a vulnerability with a new vendor in the Lee County hack?

One month before the cyber attack that crippled Lee County’s system, the county hired a new company to provide cybersecurity services. Now, there are questions if the move briefly left the county vulnerable.

Sylvia Alvarez’s job is to pull permits for contractors and builders. But for four days, she could not do that.

“It was a little bit stressful,” Alvarez said. “I had to put off some customers that were kind of getting stressful also, so it wasn’t nice.”

Now, she is trying to catch up on all the lost business days.

Lee County pays around $8 million a year for information technology services, including cybersecurity. The company hired the county hired, Computer Aid, Inc., is responsible for securing the website and investigating any breaches.

The question that is being asked is if the transition to new service made the county vulnerable, enabling hackers to get into the system.

WINK News spoke with county commissioners in requests for comment, but nobody was available. The county manager said he would not be doing interviews. We have also contacted Computer Aid. However, we have not heard back.

Although the county system is back up on Wednesday, Alvarez said she was told the online service for permit applications is not. That means people have to come in to submit them in person physically.

“Instead of calling in an inspection that I had to call in today,” Alvarez said, “now I have to push it back for tomorrow.”

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
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