Investigation underway after South Walton Fire District computer systems hacked
SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - If you live in south Walton County, officials want you to be aware of a potential data breach.
South Walton Fire District officials said a ransomware attack targeted their computer system this past Memorial Day. They report the hack may have impacted patient information, specifically people the fire district transported between 2007 and 2019.
We’re told there is no evidence so far that information has been leaked, but there is an active investigation into the incident.
Ransomware is a specific type of hack where data is encrypted, and perpetrators demand money in return for the data.
”In essence, what somebody had done was get access to the system, encrypted the data, and left a ransom note for us to, basically, pay that ransom in order to get that data back,” said South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford. “Fortunately, internally we have a pretty robust mechanism in place to do backups. So we never had to engage that threat actor to gain that data back. We were able to re-install that data and be back up and running in about a day and a half.”
Chief Crawford said they immediately called in federal, state, and local law enforcement. He said they are constantly working on new methods and technology to keep hackers away, and their data safe.
“We’ve already taken a number of additional layers of protection to try and mitigate the issue and prevent further instances like this from occurring,” Crawford said.
If the data breach possibly impacted you, officials said they will reach out to you.
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