Gila County’s email and phone systems were apparently infected by ransomware starting July 2. It took a week before most of its online services were restored.
The technical issue impacting a significant scope of county computer systems and county government operations.
County staff and outside data privacy and cybersecurity specialists joined forces to ensure that the systems were secure, to determine the nature and scope of the issue, and to restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
On Monday, SmartSystems, Inc. of Payson, sent an alert to its customers that it had learned Gila County’s information systems had been infected with ransomware.
In an effort to protect its clients, SmartSystems, Inc. placed blocks to gilacountyaz.gov URLs at both a firewall and security endpoint level.
As of press time, the county had released no official statement about the cause or scope of the problem with its online services. However, at the July 9 meeting of the Gila County Supervisors, the board thanked the staff for its efforts and long hours in keeping business moving along.
District 2 Supervisor and chairman of the board Tim Humphrey joked he didn’t know if that meant some staff had to get out their old typewriters, but he applauded their dedication.