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The hackers who crippled Suffolk County’s 911 dispatch center and police headquarters in a cyber attack earlier this month are at it again, uploading another nearly two dozen documents to the dark web along with a new taunt directed at County Executive Steve Bellone.
They’ve been posting information on the dark web since the Sept. 8 hack and have threatened to post more, as they recently did, until the county pays up. The latest documents posted involve a range of critical subjects, from budgets to ethics boards, audits, arbitrations, civil service matters and collective bargaining agreements.
The latest post, though, doesn’t say exactly what they want and they haven’t asked for a specific ransom. Instead, they seek, “a small reward for our work to find vulnerabilities on the Suffolk County computer network.”
In a “reappeal to Mr. Steven Bellone,” they urge him to make a decision imminently or risk losing public trust.
“Delaying a decision in this situation can have irreversible consequences for you,” the taunt said. “It would be sad if you misjudged the situation and lost your chair. We certainly don’t want that to happen. We strongly encourage you to contact us within the next 24 hours.”
They promised “friendly negotiations” and said they could restore Suffolk computer operations within 48 hours. They also pledged to destroy the data published on the dark web. It’s not clear what the county plans to do next.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison had said the county was trying to bring the 911 call system back online by Friday, but it’s Friday, and it’s not clear if that remains a viable goal.
The hack, now more than two weeks old, took down county government computers, leaving the 911 dispatch center reeling and reduced to pen and paper. The NYPD stepped in and added five call operators per tour to handle the volume, but issues are ongoing.
Cops can’t use their car computers to conduct background checks. They have had to use encrypted radio to contact state police or highway patrol for further information.
Real estate closings have also been impacted, with title searches, an essential part of those deals, being frozen by the hackers, too. Buyers have been urged to proceed with caution.
Suffolk County officials say they have prepared for such an intrusion in the past and by taking the network offline once they spotted the hack, they may have prevented more damage. They believe more attacks like these can be expected.
Why? As experts say, that’s where the money is.
In the meantime, Suffolk County created a temporary government website and has been pushing residents there for information on how each agency is responding.
Hackers Post Docs on Dark Web Again – NBC New York
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