Harvey County recovering from cyberattack

Posted: Updated:
HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Harvey County says its computer network was the victim of a cyberattack this week. It says county facilities are scheduled to remain open this week, but operations will be limited.

A limited portion of the network was disabled in the cyberattack. Harvey County is working with its insurance providers and cybersecurity experts to recover the information. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been notified.

Presently, Harvey County does not believe any personal information of its citizens or employees was compromised.

“Our No. 1 priority is keeping everyone’s personal information safe. We will strive to ensure that,” said Harvey County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber. “We have worked and worked and worked to accomplish that, and will continue to do so.”

The cybercrime was discovered on Sunday, prompting the Courthouse to close on Monday. Though the incident was believed to be alleviated on Monday, additional concerns from the same cyberattack were identified on Tuesday.

The County utilized the full extent of its own resources and those established through local partnerships to correct the cyberattack, but additional resources will be required to completely eradicate the threat.

“We tapped into all of our local knowledge to combat this,” said LeeAnn Heim, Harvey County information technology director. “That said, this incident shows we still have a need for improvement, and we are addressing that.”

The County has backup systems in place, and also purchased additional network security within the past year. Those measures were beneficial to limiting the reach of the cyberattack.

“We apologize that this incident occurred. This is surely frustrating for our residents, and it is extremely frustrating for our staff, too,” Swartzendruber said. “Please be patient with us. We will get this fixed and restore our full services as soon as we are certain our network is secure.”

Essential emergency response services such as 911 and the sheriff’s office continue to remain operational. Other functions, such as the driver’s license office or vehicle tags, will not be available until the restoration of the network. If you have questions about the services of a particular department, please call us at 316-284-6800.

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