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Former Suffolk official defends county's months-long cyberattack response

J.D. Allen

A former top Suffolk County official defended the Bellone administration’s response to a cyberattack on county government systems in September 2022. The breach triggered a state of emergency that lasted well into last year.

Former County Executive Steve Bellone, who was term-limited in December, has been widely criticized for his lack of preparedness for the attack.

His former chief deputy, Lisa Black, led the county’s response to the hack. She testified in front of a legislative committee investigating the incident this week, where she maintained the hack originated in the county Clerk’s Office — separate from the county’s IT department.

Committee Chair Anthony Piccirillo questioned why all data on Black’s work computer had been deleted when she left office, which her attorney pushed back on.

The attack from 2022 knocked out county systems and websites for months. The county approved a $16 million payment to outside vendors to fix the damage, according to Newsday. The personal data of around 400,000 residents was exposed.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.