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Here's how many documents Hall has to restore electronically after ransomware attack
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Katie Greenway, planner I at the Hall County Planning Department, displays on Oct. 16, 2020 the manual process she must go through to fill out documents as the county continues to recover from a ransomware attack that took place on Oct. 7. - photo by Thomas Hartwell

Hall County court employees are working to restore access to more than a year’s worth of digital documents that are unretrievable due to the Oct. 7 cyberattack.

The courthouse sent a message last week to the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association alerting them that documents filed between June 2019 and October 2020 may be temporarily unavailable in the Comprehensive Justice Information System.

The Hall County clerk’s office has paper copies of the documents, and anyone needing copies can call the office at 770-531-7025. 

Court administrator Jason Stephenson said court employees are working to rescan these documents as quickly as possible but deferred all other questions to the county management.

County spokeswoman Katie Crumley provided an update Tuesday, Dec. 15, regarding the cyberattack.

“While systems have been restored, work is ongoing to restore historical data for certain applications,” according to the county’s update. “Until all data has been restored, there may be times when certain datasets are not retrievable electronically.” 

County officials said public safety functions, including 911 and emergency services, were not impaired.

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“Currently, all major information technology services have been brought back online and are functional,” according to the county’s update. “These services include, but are not limited to, phone, email and applications and software systems in financial services, the tax commissioner’s office and tax assessor’s office.”  

Crumley did not answer specific questions concerning the status of the cyberattack investigation, which agency is conducting the investigation and how many documents are currently unretrievable.

The update includes a statement that “specifics related to the cybersecurity incident itself are not being released” for security purposes.

The Times made multiple calls to two current and former officers of the bar association for comment Tuesday, but those calls were not returned.


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