NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Ransomware attacks are on the rise across the nation. Local governments are juicy targets, a successful hack could bring the government to a stand-still. Information technology departments in the Cape Fear region are on high alert to make sure your information isn't compromised by these hackers.
"We've actually had ransomware in the county, "Leslie Chaney, the IT Director for New Hanover County explained. "But the scope has been minimized by the security measurements we've never lost critical data or had to pay any ransom."
The hackers put a lock on the information and ask for money or else they will delete it. In some cases, governments have paid tens of thousands of dollars to recover vital information.
"I'm not surprised by any of those stories," Chaney said. "A lot of the breaches starts with a human action such as following the link in the fishing email."
Chaney said the county has fallen victim to six ransomware attacks in her 13 years with the county. But they have never paid the ransom or lost any of the data.
WECT's Connor DelPrete will tell you how the county has staved off hackers once they breach and what you can do to keep your personal information safe in a special report airing October 26 on WECT News at 11.