At least 35 desktop computers, nine servers and an undetermined number of laptops were contaminated after the combined Huntington county system was hacked on Monday, May 6.

Nearly 95 percent of the server is restored, IT interim director Joakim Abrahamsson said, excluding at least two systems, one of which needs to be fully rebuilt and is used by the city’s water department.

County Commissioners and Abrahamsson said they cannot determine if any data was stolen or compromised, and they said it is unclear if sensitive or personnel information was stolen.

Abrahamsson said Indiana State Police is sending a detective in this week to conduct a criminal investigation, since he cannot find where the attack originated from.

Commissioners agreed to use the electronic security firm Crypsis, which is approved by the county’s cyber security insurance, to work on the system. Between the attack on Monday and the commissioner’s meeting a week later, only county IT department employees have been working on the system.

Stephanie Rogers said the insurance policy covers everything after the county reaches its $10,000 deductible. Roger is also checking to see if their other policies cover business disruption to help pay for lost time.

Abrahamsson said he’s spent between $10,000 and $20,000 so far, mostly on software and licensing. The cost of rebuilding the city water department’s server could cost up to $30,000.

Commissioner Rob Miller said he’s concerned that the insurance company will only pay for pre-approved expenses, so he asked Abrahamsson and Rogers to make sure to contact the insurance company before making further purchases.

Rogers said she’s hoping they pay for Abrahamsson’s initial expenses.

Crypsis’ scope of work includes bringing in an attorney to review the liability of the county and finding out what – if anything – got leaked, although Abrahamsson said he believes nothing was compromised.

He said the county’s system has encryption in the form of required passwords and other security features.

Abrahamsson said if they sign a contract with Cypsis, the company will send software that he will have to run on the infected computers for analyzation.

Commissioner Tom Wall wanted to address rumors he’s seen online, especially regarding the election.

“We know our elections were secure because those are totally separate systems.” Wall said.

He also addressed rumors concerning the firing of IT director Matt Taylor at their previous board meeting on April 29.

“People are starting rumors that it’s collusion from our last termination,” Wall said. “I can tell you I don’t know if that is the case. We’re not here to determine it or point fingers, that is what the state police is here for.”

Wall thanked Abrahamsson and commended the county’s quick action, adding that he’s seen other areas in the country crippled or harmed more severely than Huntington’s situation.

Wall also thanked county and city employees for working through the situation given the circumstances. He said court still happened and law enforcement was still able to book inmates and arrest people.

Although Abrahamsson said the county didn’t have a “documented” emergency plan written down, he said there was a plan and that it worked well.

We were up within 24 hours – basic functionality – I mean not fully restored ... I know that if you study on this, there are counties and companies that it takes months for them to come back,” he said. “Sometimes they go bankrupt. We were up within 24 hours. I think that shows that we had our ducks in a row.”

Miller said it was important for them to act quickly.

“If they say they’re not going to pay it, it doesn’t make any difference honestly,” he said in regards to the costs already incurred before consulting the insurance company. “The outcome is going to have to be the same. We need to get it up and running and get it right.”

Wall said they are learning from this attack, since it is the first cyber attack in Huntington County.

“Unfortunately, it’s a cost to us taxpayers,” he said. “We don’t like it, but we’re going to move on. We’ve got insurance to cover it.”

“We got lucky,” Miller interjected.

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