Davidson County computers shut down by ransomware, hackers demanding bitcoin

Malware stock photo (Getty Images)

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The Davidson County government has essentially been shut down Friday due to a software virus known as ransomware, County Manager Zeb Hanner told the Lexington Dispatch.

Sheriff David Grice told FOX8 that phone lines and computers are down for all county/government offices including the sheriff’s office.

Hackers are asking for an undisclosed amount of cyber currency called bitcoin, according to the newspaper.

“We’ve contacted law enforcement and contacted our cybersecurity coverage on insurance and we will try to see the best way to proceed,” Hanner told the Dispatch. “We do have good backups. We’ve not lost data. Probably the hardest thing would be the time it would take to restore everything back.”

Officials became aware of the problem around 2 a.m. Friday.

The 911 system is still working, Grice said, but other government offices are completing tasks manually. People should call (336) 249-0131 to get in touch with Sheriff’s office, he said.

The Davidson County Health Department sent out a note that the department “is experiencing computer and phone issues. All regular email, phone, and fax services are not working. We do not know when service will be restored. In the meantime the DCHD can be reached by phone at the following numbers:

WIC (336) 479-3825
EH (336) 479-2584
Clinical Services/Other (336) 479-3653”