Henry County

Henry County shuts down all systems after possible cyberattack

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Henry County shut down all county systems Wednesday because of a possible cyberattack, Channel 2 Action News has learned.

Officials told Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes that the Henry County Tech Services Department noticed something suspicious at 3 a.m. and made the decision to shut down the system.

A sign outside an administration building let customers know they couldn't get any services Wednesday.

The move is meant to protect confidential information such as court records, police records and property tax records.

Officials have not confirmed it was a cyberattack.


"We have a cyber incident and we're not really sure at this point what that is," Melissa Robinson, spokesperson for Henry County said. "You never want to have anything happen to your systems because we have a database with emails. There's court records, there's police records, there's property tax records..."

Robinson said that when the worker found the problem overnight and couldn't figure out what it was, he didn't hesitate to take action because he knew that confidential information was at risk.

"In a proactive move, he decided to take our systems down to protect them, and right now, they're weeding through that and trying to figure out what's going on," Robinson said.

County departments can't access records, but the police and sheriff's offices can still take reports and the 911 call center can still conduct normal business.

The tax and tag office is currently open, but the property office is closed.

Wednesday night's Board of Commissioners meeting has been canceled. It was originally planned to be an open meeting, but since officials can't record or stream it, they are planning to reschedule.

Robinson said the county has dealt with their email system going down before, but they have never dealt with anything like this.

Officials have reached out to GEMA and the Georgia Technology Service to see if they can come in and help with the problem.

Fernandes got a tip that the GEMA system has also been down because of a possible cyberattack.

GEMA confirmed that they've been dealing with a cyberattack for nearly two weeks. Officials told Fernandes they've taken all necessary precautions to protect information, and they want the public to know they can still send out notifications.

Henry County officials said they are working to get their systems back up in the next few days.

"We want to make sure (residents') information is protected, but we also want to make sure we can offer services," Robinson said.