Mecklenburg County officials say they will not pay $23,000 to hackers

- Mecklenburg County officials said they will not pay ransom to the hackers who froze county servers on Monday. 

The ransomware criminals had demanded $23,000 by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday to release many of the county’s files and servers that were frozen. 

RELATED: Services impacted by Mecklenburg County 'ransomware attack'

“I am confident that our backup data is secure and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves,” said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio. “It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all of our systems will be back up and running as soon as possible.”

County officials believe they can fix the problem by using backup data available prior to the hack to rebuild the frozen applications from scratch. They said the systems affecting Health and Human Services, the Court system and Land Use and Environmental Services are the first priority.

RELATED: Hackers freeze Mecklenburg County servers, demand $23,000

Diorio said the decision was made after officials consulted multiple cyber-security experts and realized that the time difference to rebuild the systems will not be significantly different.

“It was going to take almost as long to fix the system after paying the ransom as it does to fix it ourselves,” she said. “And there was no guarantee that paying the criminals was a sure fix.”

All offices in the county are still open and departments have implemented alternative processes where necessary to continue serving customer.

The County asks that residents and employees remain patient and understanding. If you have business with the County, you should call ahead to see if the service has been impacted.

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