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Memo describes Suffolk County's lackluster recovery plan for cyberattack

As a large number of companies opt to work from home, cybersecurity experts say it's a hacker's paradise.
Thomas Trutschel
/
Photothek via Getty Images
As a large number of companies opt to work from home, cybersecurity experts say it's a hacker's paradise.

A memo obtained by Newsday offers the most in-depth look yet at Suffolk County’s cyberattack in September that has stymied many local government functions.

The memo, written in early October by the software company CGI, said Suffolk’s cybersecurity response suffered from a conflict of interest because there wasn’t an accountable security employee in charge to handle such an attack. The memo also states that it’s not clear if the hackers have been completely removed from Suffolk’s system.

County officials said that the memo was limited to the restoration of the financial management system in the office of Suffolk Comptroller John Kennedy.

Kennedy said that he wants to get the comptroller’s financial management system off Suffolk County’s servers and shift them to the cloud, which he said is more secure.

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Kennedy adds the hack was partly to blame for a delay in paying some $200 million in property tax refunds for those who successfully appealed their tax bill.

Suffolk lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the comptroller to migrate to a cloud-based system.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.