Monroe County Government Investigates Network Intrusion After Cyberattack

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (July 8, 2024) — Monroe County Government (MCG) officials have announced an ongoing investigation into a network intrusion that occurred during the early morning hours of July 1, 2024. The breach, identified as originating from an outside source termed “Blacksuit,” has been confirmed by county authorities.

The “Blacksuit” hack refers to a cyberattack carried out by the BlackSuit ransomware group, which emerged in 2023. This group is known for its “double extortion” tactics, where they not only encrypt victim data but also steal it and threaten to leak it if their ransom demands are not met. BlackSuit has been involved in significant attacks on various sectors, including healthcare, education, government, and retail​. The same type of attack recently shut down car dealerships.

Julie Thomas Githens, President; Penny Githens, Vice President; and Lee Jones, Member, reported that third-party specialists are assisting in the investigation to determine the extent of the data affected. While the full impact is not yet known, residents are advised to take precautionary measures to protect their personal information.

“If you are concerned, it is always best practice to lock your credit down,” the officials urged. They provided contact information for the three major credit bureaus:

  • Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ or call 1-888-298-0045. Fraud Alert address: Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069. Credit Freeze address: Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788.
  • Experian: https://www.experian.com/help/ or call 1-888-397-3742. Fraud Alert address: Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. Credit Freeze address: Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.
  • TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-help or call 1-800-916-8800. Fraud Alert address: TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016. Credit Freeze address: TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094.

Preliminary evidence suggests that no sensitive employee information has been misused. However, the investigation is still in its early stages, and it remains unclear whether vendor or public users’ personally identifiable information (PII) was accessed without authorization. Should it be determined that PII has been compromised, MCG will provide the necessary notifications to protect those affected.

“We have shared all the information we can at this time. This is an active investigation, so we are limited in our communications,” the officials stated. “We have been told that answers may be weeks out, but we will share relevant updates as they become available.”

Monroe County Government was fully operational by Monday, according to a press release.

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