Federal authorities investigate cyberattack on Rockland County Clerk's Office
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stepped in after Rockland County found itself in the crossfire of what appears to be a coordinated and widespread cyberattack.
Rockland County Clerk Donna Silberman says her office was notified Tuesday after its software administrator, Cott Systems, detected potentially malicious files within its infrastructure on Christmas Day.
"Technology is great until it's not,” she says. “It's scary that they were able to infiltrate a software company. It gives me concern."
Records searching, home closings and title transfers are being paused until this is resolved.
The attack doesn't surprise Progressive Computing co-founder Robert Cioffi, who says governments, nonprofits and schools have become cybercrime targets recently.
"Those are going to be easier targets for cyber criminals because they generally lack the funds that a larger enterprise or a for-profit agency does,” he says.
But Cioffi says doing nothing leaves you vulnerable.
"Make sure that you're understanding what cybersecurity means, what it does, and how it protects your organization,” he says.
Cioffi and other experts recommend not clicking on links you don't recognize, creating strong passwords, and setting up multi-factor authentication on all your accounts.
Silberman said she believes this is the same group behind the attack that devastated Suffolk County's systems in September.
The office is hoping systems will be able to go back online for the Tuesday after the New Year at the earliest.