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Madison County's computers frozen by ransomware attack

November 7, 2016

A so-called ransomware attack has left police, fire and other government staff in a central Indiana county locked out of their computers.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Madison County Commissioner Jeff Hardin told The Herald Bulletin the county's voting records and ballots were not affected by Friday's attack because they are housed on a separate system.

Sheriff Scott Mellinger said the attack left police, firefighters, county courts staff and other government workers locked out of their computers in the county about northeast of Indianapolis. The systems remained down Monday morning.

He said the local 911 system remains operating, but police can only access driver's license and warrant information by telephone and are logging information by hand.

The commissioners voted unanimously Saturday to authorize paying a ransom. Officials did not disclose the amount of the ransom, but the county has seven days to pay it.

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