County Says Tech Attack Looks Like Ransomeware Effort

Updated: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Tuesday that investigators have found malware in the county computer system with the “hallmarks of ransomeware but have not concluded that it is a ransomware attack.”

The county’s system was hit by an attack Thursday, leading to a loss of email and some phone services. Many county workers switched to using faxes and paper to get tasks done.

A text-only page was set up for its main website, accessible at its usual address:

The temporary site includes a directory with email addresses and other contact information for many departments and legislators.

“We are trying to keep things as business as usual,” Bellone said, noting that buses are running and beaches are open.

“Our internal process may be a little different but residents can stil expect services,” he said. He said state police had provided emergency telecommunications services to the county.

Legislator Stephanie Bontempi, R-Huntington, said her phone lines are working after having been knocked out of service by the cyber attack.


The offices of Suffolk legislators in Huntington are working around the apparent ransomware attack on that has shut down some government operations.

Emails and in some cases, phone service have been knocked out since the end of last week. The Suffolk County government page shows a blue screen. County officials say they suspect a ransomware attack.

Legislator Stephanie Bontempi, R-Huntington, said on Facebook, “We are currently working on establishing an alternative means of communication since our phone and email systems are inoperable. Of course you can still contact me via Facebook or stop by my office in person during normal business hours.”

Karen Klafter, chief aide to Legislator Tom Donnelly, D-Huntington tion, said that while email service is out, the office was continuing to provide constituent services, including notary services, and hand out COVID-19 test kits. Donnelly’s office can be reached at  (631) 854-4433 or fax (631) 854-4415.

Using faxes and working with paper, Klafter said, “Is a little bit of a shift back to the old days but for dinosaurs like us it’s manageable. It’s just kind of like riding a bicycle.”

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