Kent County
Image: formulanone via Wikimedia Commons

Delaware county struggling to respond to cyberattack

Delaware’s Kent County is dealing with a cyberattack that has affected municipal services for days.

Home to nearly 200,000 people and the state capital of Dover, the county said on Monday that the cyber intrusion appears to have begun at 7 a.m on July 8.

“There was no disruption of critical County services, such as 911 dispatch. Kent County's Information Technology team responded immediately and have received strong support from the State of Delaware and local governments,” county officials said in a statement posted to a government Facebook page.

“County staff members are working closely with cybersecurity consultants and law enforcement to ensure all systems are secure. While County officials are confident that sensitive information is secure, there will be delays in routine county services while systems are restored.”

Officials added that all internet-based services and some telephone numbers will be offline “temporarily.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, county websites and phone numbers were unresponsive. The governor's office and Dover city officials did not respond to requests for comment. In the county statement, they said they will only release “limited details” because the issue is being investigated by law enforcement.

Officials did not respond to requests for comment about whether ransomware is involved, but 2023 has seen dozens of attacks on local governments by gangs seeking to extort poorly-resourced municipal bodies.

Counties across the U.S. — including ones in California, South Carolina, New Jersey and Oregon — have been attacked this year alongside major metropolitan areas like Oakland and Dallas.

On Monday, Hayward, California said it was forced to shut off its website and several online municipal portals in response to a cyberattack.

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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.