MUNCIE — Delaware County doesn't want to be the next Madison County, particularly when it comes to having information systems held hostage.

Delaware County officials have authorized their information technology department to investigate methods, including software, to prevent the kind of ransomware attack that recently hit neighboring Madison County.

According to news accounts late last week, Madison County officials acknowledged they had been shut out of their servers and that the hacker responsible had demanded an undisclosed amount of payment to restore control. The county couldn't look up old court records or even use its inmate-booking computer program at the jail. Indiana State Police investigators were in charge of the case.

Longtime Delaware County IT provider James Flook came to Monday's commissioners' meeting and briefed them on the Madison County attack.

"Madison County was hit over the weekend by ransomware," Flook told the commissioners. "They were still locked down this morning. ... It's a piece of malware that gets attached to an email and grows like a virus."

Copyright ©2020 The Star Press