Authorities are investigating a cybersecurity attack that targeted Georgia’s Fulton County this past weekend, causing widespread technological outages.
Local officials revealed in a Monday press conference they learned of the widespread that affected the county government’s phone lines, the court system and the tax system. Fulton County Chair Robb Pitts confirmed Monday that the outage was a result of a cybersecurity incident, and it is being investigated by law enforcement.
“We do not yet have a specific time frame for when these systems will be restored, but we ask for your patience during this response,” Pitts said. “We at Fulton County take cybersecurity seriously, and we place a high priority on the protection of sensitive information.”
He added that officials were not aware of any transfer of sensitive information about citizens or employees at the time.
“While we are in the early phase of this incident, we want the public to be aware that we will keep them informed as additional information becomes available,” Pitts said.
The cybersecurity attack is especially notable given that former President Trump and 18 others were charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) last year in an election interference case. Trump is facing charges related to efforts to allegedly pressure state officials into reversing the Georgia 2020 election results.
Willis is now facing backlash after being accused of hiring a romantic partner as a top prosecutor in the former president’s case. It remains unclear whether these allegations will affect it.
According to the Fulton County website, certain transactions related to the tax and justice systems have been impacted by the outage, including marriage and firearm licenses. The website also noted that most offices are unable to accept phone calls due to the incident.
The FBI office in Atlanta said it has been in contact with county officials.
“We are aware of the incident with Fulton County IT and have been in contact with them,” the field office said in a statement to The Hill.
“While we cannot comment on any specific incidents, the FBI routinely advises the public and private sectors about cyber threats in order to help them guard against the actions of cyber criminals. We work with our interagency partners to identify, pursue, and defeat all those who partake in cybercrime,” the statement reads.