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Suffolk County lawmakers hold first public meeting on cyberattack investigation

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
The Suffolk County Legislature's Cyber Intrusion Investigation Committee met to discuss last year's cyberattack.

Suffolk County's special investigative committee held its first public meeting looking into last year's cyberattack on county computers. The Suffolk County Legislature's Cyber Intrusion Investigation Committee met for about two hours, most of which occurred in a closed executive session.

The committee heard from its special counsel leading the investigation, former U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue. He said so far he has interviewed nine witnesses and made requests for a number of documents from the county executive’s office.

“They have not yet completed their productions pursuant to those requests, but that they are close. Thus far we have received more than 20,000 documents, mostly comprised of emails,” Donoghue said.

Other documents include data maps and forensic reports from tech companies Palo Alto, TracePoint and others.

The committee is looking into claims that the county executive's office failed to implement cyber policies and legislation meant to protect against hacks. It is also investigating the claim that the county’s technology departments were siloed in a way that made it vulnerable to an attack.

On Monday, County Executive Steve Bellone — who called this decentralized IT structure “failed” — hired Kenneth Brancik as the county’s first chief information security officer.

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.