Indiana county government shut down by ransomware to pay up

Madison County, Indiana, suffered a widespread ransomware attack that shut down virtually all county services last week. Over the weekend, the county government leadership decided to pay the ransom demands of the ring running the malware, which has not yet been identified publicly.


“We’re following the directions of our insurance carrier,” Madison County Commissioner John Richwine told the Herald-Bulletin this morning. He did not reveal the amount of the ransom but said that it was not as much as residents might have thought it would be—and is being covered by the county’s cyber-insurance with Travelers, minus a deductible.


While the ransomware did not apparently affect emergency services or voting systems, an Indiana State Police captain told a local television station that the rest of the county’s business had been knocked out. Courts and some county offices were closed, and employees were given the option of taking personal or vacation time in other offices where no work was possible.


“It’s like when I came on in the ’80s—we’re doing everything with pencil and paper,” Indiana State Police Capt. Dave Bursten told WTHR.


Calls and e-mails from Ars to Madison County government officials went unanswered.