Suffolk County services crippled by cyber attack

A cyber-attack has targeted the computer systems of several departments in Suffolk County, shutting down many government services. 

At the county's Traffic Agency, people are unable to pay outstanding tickets and are being told to come back on or after October 12 with no other explanation.

Hackers that attacked the county’s servers claimed responsibility for their illegal actions late last week and threatened to slowly leak sensitive data until the County pays up. The NYPD is helping Suffolk’s police department answer 9-1-1 calls while their system is down.

Daily disruptions are delaying deals in the real estate industry and putting a freeze on title searches - a necessary part of the transaction process. 

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"It’s a mess," said Mike Haltman, CEO of Hallmark Abstract Service. "You have buyers who are anxious to get into their property, you have sellers who obviously want to get out of their property. It’s an issue basically putting everyone’s lives on hold."

Experts say as hackers become more sophisticated - it’s important to be aware.

"In everything we’ve gotten involved with and with the organizations we help defend, there are always signs," said Keith Strassberg, CEO of CyberSafe Solutions. "It just doesn’t magically happen."

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"When you log into the bank, oftentimes it sends you that text message? That's called multi-factor authentication. We recommend for everyone to have that on all of their personal accounts, " said Rosana Filingeri, Vice President of Business Development at CyberSafe Solutions. 

In a statement, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told FOX 5 that the nature and extent of the breach remains under investigation. The County did submit formal notification of it to the Attorney General‘s office. They will notify any individual whose data may have been exposed and will offer free identity theft protection services. 

The County posted more info on services interrupted on its website: