Lee County didn’t pay a ransom in cyberattack

A Lee County Commissioner has confirmed the county did not pay the ransom after hackers got into the government’s computer systems.

Nearly two weeks ago, Lee County became a victim of a cyberattack that forced the county to take internal and public computer systems offline for days.

While the Lee County IT director won’t reveal much about the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Case, Commissioner Brian Hamman said, “No money changed hands.”

That’s good news when it comes to whether anyone’s personal information was compromised says cybersecurity expert Christian Wartchow, “So that all of the information, all of the data is backed up, it takes time to restore all that, but it can be done without paying a ransom.”

Just because no ransom was paid doesn’t mean ransom wasn’t demanded.

And he agrees with how the county is keeping most of the details private.

“It is most likely a criminal case that’s going to be escalated to both local, state and federal authorities,” Wartchow said, “So there are certain aspects of it that you don’t want to talk about.”

Wartchow says it’s a balancing act between informing the public and preventing more attacks.

Commissioner Hamman said he expects the investigation into the cyberattack to take several months.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
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