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MARTIN COUNTY — State and local law-enforcement agencies are investigating an apparent hack of data from the Martin County website.
Officials were unaware the 3-year-old data — stored offsite — was stolen until a person contacted the county legal department early this week. The caller didn’t threaten the county or ask for ransom, spokesperson Martha Ann Kneiss said.
The person’s motive, however, “is not altruistic,” the county said in a news release.
The apparently stolen data is nothing the person can use against the county, Kneiss said, calling it “non-actionable” and “little threat.” Still, she could not provide details of what information or files were compromised.
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“We don’t have a lot of information,” Kneiss said. “We’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
The person also contacted an NBC News affiliate in California about the Martin County data, Kneiss said.
The county didn’t reveal the data hack until late Thursday. Officials believe those behind the hack are not local.
A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson could not be reach for comment on its investigation.
The county is communicating with the company managing its website data storage, Kneiss said.
This is the first data hack of county computer systems, according to Kneiss. The county has no policies for dealing with a data breach, she said.
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However, this is not the first computer attack on a Martin County government. In April 2019, the city of Stuart’s computer servers were infected by a ransomware attack. Hackers demanded a payment in Bitcoin, but the city never paid any ransom, officials said.
Stuart city email was affected by that attack, but emergency services, including 911, were unaffected. Customer credit card numbers were not obtained.
The FBI investigated the Stuart ransomware attack.
Sade M. Gordon covers Martin County and its local communities. If you like articles like this and other TCPalm coverage of Treasure Coast news, please support our journalism and subscribe now.
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