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2016 ransomware attack against Palm Beach County Elections Office just now coming to light

Posted at 11:39 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 07:34:24-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  — A ransomware attack against the Palm Beach County Elections office. A 2016 incident weeks before the election that's just now coming to light.

The current supervisor of elections only found out recently. Wendy Sartory Link says it was revealed while she was working with a new IT director. The ransomware attack happened under a different supervisor.

"I was shocked, didn't know anything about it," she said.

Sartory Link says It was after their IT Director left suddenly which was in November of this year. Jeffrey Darter was fired amidst an investigation into alleged child porn possession.

Sartory Link said she called the Division of Elections for the State, the FBI and Homeland Security and none of the agencies knew anything about the attack. In fact, no one outside of her office new anything about the virus.

"They were able as I understand it able to get some of that back through their back up system," she said.

Sartory Link says current the system is protected.

"I feel like we're in very good shape, and we will get another report in a few weeks," she said.

According to Link, no ransom was ever paid, and she does not believe this was one of the two Russian hacking attempts in Florida revealed in the Mueller report.