Butler County data secure after hacker attack

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The computer network system for Butler County is still down a few days after hackers decided to hold it ransom in exchange for money.

But Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet assured residents late Wednesday that the county’s data is still secure.

“It hasn’t been stolen but it has been encrypted,” he said in a Facebook post. “As it has been explained to me, hackers found a way into our network and inserted a virus that locked a great deal of our files.”

Those hackers are holding the files hostage until the county decides to pay them or break the encryption.

Herzet didn’t say how much money the hackers have demanded. Computer forensic experts have been hired, he said.

“I also feel confident no personal information has been compromised,” Herzet said. “If that changes we will make every effort to alert those affected. We have nothing to hide here.”

The hacking hasn’t affected the ability for police, fire or EMS to respond to emergencies, he said.

“Our paperwork might be filled out by hand instead of on a computer generated form but nothing else has changed,” he said.

When will the system be fixed? Herzet said he doesn’t know, but says those who are working on the problem have had little down time.

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna