Lubbock County IT repels malware attack

Lubbock County repels malware attack

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County officials say files damaged in a recent cyber attack have been fully restored. A malicious virus infected a county computer on Aug. 16, , damaging two terabytes of county documents.

Isaac Badu, director of Lubbock County Information Technology Services, got a call from a county employee that morning. The employee said icons on his desktop were moving.

"So that’s when we went to action and tried to stop it and tried to fix the damage,” Badu said. “We started digging around to see what was going on so we could get the source of where the malicious activity was coming from and mitigate it as much as possible. We found out that it was coming from another user’s computer, they just happened to share the same files because they do similar type of work.”

There were attacks going on statewide on the same day, but Issac says after running tests, they concluded that the state attacks had nothing to do with what they were seeing.

“Once everything was said and done, the state reached out to us and told us that the source of their attack was not directly related to what we saw that same morning.”

The county was able to recover the data soon after the attack, simply using a backup from the night before.

Badu says they recovered data that could have been different types of documents.

"All of the things that the county deals with, law documents, D.A’s documents, sheriff’s documents, all of those things that we house with our systems - so all of the above. It’s really difficult because when you’re in the middle of it, you’re restoring so much data that you’re not having the time to look at specifics at what might have gotten compromised,” he said.

Badu says in nine months he’s been in Lubbock, this was the first time he’s seen malicious activity that the antivirus systems didn’t catch. Badu said it’s a good thing they caught the malicious activity in less than an hour on a Friday.

He says if the infection were to grow over the weekend, more damage could have been done and it would have cost a lot to restore the data.

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