Albany County, New York
Image: Albany County Executive / Facebook

New York's Albany County investigating 'cybersecurity breach' ahead of holiday weekend

Officials in New York’s state capital region said they are investigating a cyberattack ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy told Recorded Future News in a statement that they are working with the state Division of Homeland Security and the Emergency Services Cyber Incident Response Team after discovering the potential issue in county networks.

“We are currently investigating the possibility of a cybersecurity breach,” McCoy said. “For those seeking certificates of residency online, they won’t be able to do that. They will have to call the Division of Finance. To our knowledge, we are not aware of any data exfiltration.”

The county did not respond to several followup questions about when the incident started, whether it is a ransomware attack or whether federal law enforcement agencies will be called on for assistance. 

The cyberattack, first reported by the Times Union newspaper, affects a county with more than 310,000 residents. The Times Union noted that from 2019 to 2021, the county dealt with ransomware attacks on the local airport, a 911 dispatch center and the city of Albany itself. 

Last month the statehouse was also attacked by a ransomware gang that targeted the systems used by New York’s legislature to draft and print bills. 

Since a devastating attack on one of the state’s most affluent counties in 2021, the governor has made cybersecurity a pillar of her work, recently announcing changes to state cybersecurity rules that force regulated entities to report ransomware payments and take other measures to secure customer data.

Gov. Kathy Hochul tapped former company commander at the U.S. Army Cyber Brigade, Colin Ahern, to be the state’s first-ever chief cyber officer in June 2022 and added an extra $35 million to the state’s $61.9 million cybersecurity budget last year. 

Ransomware attackers have continued to target U.S. county and city governments. The California city of St. Helena and Georgia’s Macon-Bibb County are still recovering from incidents this month. 

Ransomware expert Brett Callow has been tracking the incidents and said there are at least 45 local governments that have been impacted by ransomware this year.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.