Key systems in Fulton County, Georgia have been offline since last week when a ‘cyber incident’ hit government systems. While the county has tried its best to continue operations as normal, phone lines, court systems, property records and more all went down. The county has not yet confirmed details of the cyber incident, such as what group could be behind it or motivations for the attack. As of Tuesday, there did not appear to be a data breach, according to Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts.
Fulton County made headlines in August as the place where prosecutors chose to bring election interference charges against former president Donald Trump. But don’t worry, officials assured the public that the case had not been impacted by the attack. “All material related to the election case is kept in a separate, highly secure system that was not hacked and is designed to make any unauthorized access extremely difficult if not impossible,” said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Despite this, Fulton County election systems did not appear to be the target of the attack. While Fulton County’s Department of Registration and Elections went down, “there is no indication that this event is related to the election process,” Fulton County said in a statement. “In an abundance of caution, Fulton County and the (Georgia) Secretary of State’s respective technology systems were isolated from one another as part of the response efforts.”
So far, the impact of the attack ranges widely from delays getting marriage certificates to disrupted court hearings. On Wednesday, a miscommunication during the outage even let a murder suspect out of custody. A manhunt continues after officials mistakenly released the suspect while being transferred between Clayton County and Fulton County for a hearing.
The county has not released information on when it expects systems to be fully restored, but it is working with law enforcement on recovery efforts. In the meantime, while constituents have trouble reaching certain government services, Fulton County put out a list of contact information for impacted departments. Fulton County also released a full list of impacted systems.
While the government IT outages occurred, a local student also hacked into Fulton County Schools systems, according to StateScoop on Friday. The school system is still determining if any personal information may have been breached, but most services came back online by Monday.