Digital Forensics Dispatch
Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
Update on Suffolk County New York Cyber Attack
January 10, 2023
Not long ago, we covered reports of a debilitating cyberattack that was affecting Suffolk County in New York. Sadly for the county, while they have gotten some clarity on the timeline of the attack, they are still far from out of the woods.
According to a recent article by Denise Civiletti on Riverheadlocal.com, forensic examiners have determined that the attack originated from the Suffolk County Clerk’s office. The attackers responsible for the breach were able to leverage a known vulnerability in Log4J2 back in December 2021. Once in control of the systems in the Clerk’s office, they apparently stole files, usernames/passwords stored in insecure methods and even set up cryptocurrency mining software.
Eventually, around August of 2021, the attack began to extend to other parts of the county’s network including the main website, the Sheriff’s office and the Health Department. These subsequent breaches and the eventual ransomware attack in September are the causes of most of the repercussions the County and its residents are still dealing with. As of late December, the county website and other web services were still offline.
Unfortunately for Suffolk County their Clerk’s office, the apparent origin of the attack, has a separate IT department that, according to reports, has not been compliant with requests from the county or forensic investigators.
The lack of co-operation was so bad the county executive recently reassigned the rank and file County clerk IT staff to other IT positions in the county and placed the Clerk’s IT Director on administrative leave to force their way into the network.
It seems the county’s troubles are still far from over so we will be keeping an eye on the story for any new developments.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology