ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly a week after a suspected ransomware attack on Bernalillo County, many of the county’s services are still limited. A TV advertisement telling people to come to the county’s Alvarado Square building has run dozens of times in the past week but all the while, the building has been mostly closed because of the attack on the county on January 5.
Notices online and on the building’s door tell visitors of the limited services but there is still confusion on what is open. “We came here to get our taxes for our property and they actually did the services,” said one visitor.
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“I came to get a well permit,” said another visitor. “The gentleman at the desk told me the systems were down and they can’t process anything. So he gave me a phone number to call.” KRQE News 13 tried to get more information on the cyber-attack.
KRQE asked if there is any evidence of citizens’ personal information was compromised. “I don’t know, that’s part of the investigation…I haven’t heard anything on that,” said Tom Thorpe, communications services administrator for Bernalillo County.
The county has opened the lobby of the building with minimal services available. But they aren’t saying if a ransom has been demanded or how much it could be, or when the county’s services will be operating fully again.
“I hate to be vague but until they complete their investigation, you know, it kind of stays status quo. We’re doing the best we can,” said Thorpe. “Just asking for everyone’s understanding in this, that it’s a difficult situation that’s affected not only the county but obviously there are others involved. Whether it’s citizens, vendors, whomever, and we are doing the absolute best to you know, identify and remedy this situation and we’ll keep working around the clock.”
This isn’t the first time Alvarado Square has been closed since opening in August. In October, it closed for about a week when vandals shot at its windows, damaging at least 10 windows and costing about $500,000 in damage.