Image: City of Spartanburg/Photomosh

South Carolina county gov’t hit with ransomware attack

The South Carolina county of Spartanburg is dealing with a ransomware attack that has limited its IT and phone systems.

In a statement to Recorded Future News, Spartanburg County spokesperson Kay Blackwell said officials recently discovered the ransomware and are in the process of responding to the incident.

A cybersecurity firm has been hired and law enforcement is involved in the investigation as well as recovery efforts.

“The safety and security of our county residents and our employees remain our top priority. The County’s IT Department and our cybersecurity and forensic team continue working to test and recover impacted systems,” Blackwell said.

“All essential services continue to operate, including 9-1-1 operations and emergency communications. We will keep the community informed as we have further updates and express our ongoing gratitude for the continued patience and support.”

State officials published notices on Twitter and Facebook about the incident, reporting on Thursday that it was “experiencing some computer system issues,” noting that some of their phone numbers were impacted by the incident.

They provided alternative phone numbers for several local government agencies. The South Carolina Judicial Branch told local news outlet WYFF that its systems were not affected by the ransomware attack.

No ransomware group has publicly claimed the attack.

Spartanburg County – which has more than 327,000 residents – is just the latest local government to deal with ransomware incidents in the last year, joining dozens of other municipalities.

Ransomware groups made a point of going after poorly-resourced local governments across the United States in 2022, targeting small governments in New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon, New York and several other states.

There have already been several attacks on local governments in 2023, including the city of Oakland and the city of Modesto in California.

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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.