Washington County government targeted by hackers

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — Washington County said its local government was targeted by hackers.

Leaders got an early warning to shut down their servers on Wednesday morning. This is now a federal investigation.

Homeland Security officials contacted county leaders at 3 a.m. to say there was a security breach. Leaders in Bucks County got the same phone call, but their 911 system was also targeted. Washington’s 911 system is fully operational.

“We received confirmation about 3 a.m. that there was a phishing expedition taking place on our servers in Washington County. Normally reports like this come from our IT department, but our IT department reached out to me to say it came from Homeland Security. At that time we shut down our servers and our servers continue to be shut down,” said County Commissioner Nick Sherman.

The Washington County Courthouse remained open today, with hearings taking place and paperwork being filed by hand.

“A lot of services we are doing on paper,” Sherman said, “PFA’s in the courts we are filing with paper and sending to police so people can be served. However, it cannot be officially recorded into our server and cloud, yet.”

County Leaders are waiting for an official update from Homeland Security to say if this is a cyber attack, ransomware attack or if they caught the breach early enough to prevent that.

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