Fulton County, Georgia, faced a cyber attack from a threat actor that resulted in county-wide technical outages and problems. The attack was revealed in a press release by Fulton County Chair Robb. He stated that the problems with the court system, tax system, and county government phone lines were caused by this incident.
Local authorities and the FBI got involved immediately, launching an investigation to determine what happened.
“While we cannot comment on any specific incidents, the FBI routinely advises the public and private sectors about cyber threats in order to help them guard against the actions of cyber criminals,” said an FBI spokesperson. “We work with our interagency partners to identify, pursue, and defeat all those who partake in cybercrime.”
Information is sparse since the investigation only just began, but the press release by Fulton County assured the public that it will share new information as soon as it can. It’s unknown if sensitive information was transferred or if the point was purely to disrupt the county.
The incident also dramatically affected Atlanta, as over 85% of prosecutors’ work comes from Fulton. As of now, there is no estimate for when the outages will be over. The county is working to bring systems back online and to a functional state, but it could take a long time.
While it’s purely speculation at this point, it’s possible that the attacks were politically motivated. It was a judge in Fulton County (Fani Willis) who charged Donald Trump and 18 collaborators with election interference. 4 have already been charged.
It’s entirely possible that the attack was staged to sabotage the trials. Hackers were unable to obtain files related to the Trump court case, as it’s locked away with unique cybersecurity protections.
“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,” writes Willis.
However, the attack still dramatically slows down the court’s ability to prosecute Trump and the remaining collaborators.
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