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Arlington Investigating Cyber Attack on County Payroll System

(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) Arlington County has revealed a cyber attack that penetrated the county’s payroll system.

In a statement, the county says a number of employees were impacted by the intrusion, but did not specify the exact number or impacts. The intrusion appears to be the result of a “phishing” email targeting county employees and not a hack, the press release suggests.

Police are investigating.

Arlington’s cybersecurity division previously told ARLnow that it was staffing up and training county employees in light of the growing number of cyber attacks. The county budgeted $60,000 for the department to teach county employees how to avoid phishing emails, among other security best practices.

The full press release is below.

Arlington County Government recently discovered the existence of an intrusion into the Arlington County payroll system. This intrusion was limited in both the time of the compromise and the number of the employees who were impacted. No resident data was compromised during the intrusion.

All of the impacted employees have been identified, advised of the situation and steps are being taken to ensure the security of their personal data. Based on a joint review by the Arlington County Department of Technology Services and the Arlington County Police Department, the consensus belief is that the intrusion was likely the result of individual employees being targeted through a phishing email.

Since discovery of the intrusion, Arlington County has implemented enhanced cyber security features to safeguard email and other critical computing systems. As part of our education and crime prevention efforts, Arlington County is sharing cyber safety tips and reminding employees and the public not to open any emails from individuals they are unfamiliar with and to not click on links contained with any emails without first verifying their content.

The intrusion is currently being investigated by the Arlington County Police Department. Any information related to this ongoing investigation can be provided to Detective John Bamford of the Department’s Homeland Security Section at [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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