Cyberattack Hits Bladen County, NC, Prompting State National Guard Deployment

Bladen County in North Carolina declared it fell victim to a cyberattack last week, necessitating the intervention of the state’s National Guard. The attack, breaching county data, invoked response from the North Carolina Joint Cybersecurity Task Force comprising external experts from the NC National Guard, NCLGISA Cybersecurity Strike Team, NC Emergency Management, and the NC Department of IT.

The County, with nearly 30,000 residents, identified “irregularities” in its systems, prompting the forensic investigation and reinforcement measures to secure their servers. Although the notice didn’t specify ransomware, the incident has led to operational limitations and restricted access to some systems.

Rodney Hester, Chairman of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners, affirmed the breach of county data while ensuring that emergency services remained operational throughout the incident. He acknowledged the ongoing efforts of their IT team, collaborating with top cybersecurity experts, to swiftly restore normalcy to the affected systems.

Acknowledging the impact on internal and internet-dependent systems, Hester highlighted the county’s contingency plans for conducting public business through alternative means. Notably, systems beyond the county’s scope, including state or other government levels, remain unaffected.

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