A cybersecurity incident in Fulton County, Georgia, which includes parts of Atlanta, is causing an IT outage affecting its phone, tax, court management systems, the county government announced this week.
The incident also left computers at Fulton County public libraries temporarily unavailable and forced the county to close the Tax Commissioner’s office on Monday, according to a statement posted to the county’s website over the weekend.
CNN first reported the incident on Monday.
While the county did not originally cite the cause of the outages, in a news briefing on Monday, Rob Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, confirmed the outage was caused by a “cybersecurity incident.” He said the incident has also interrupted the county’s judicial and tax systems, limiting certain transactions, including property tax transactions as well as obtaining firearms and marriage licenses.
“We at Fulton County take cybersecurity seriously and we place a high priority on the protection of sensitive and personal information,” Pitts said during the briefing. “At this time, we are not aware of any transfer of sensitive information about citizens or employees. But we will continue to look carefully at this issue.”
State and local courts across the country have been the targets of cyberattacks in recent years. In October, an cyberattack shut down the online court system in Kansas, blocking public and internal access to an unknown number of court cases and records. Wisconsin’s court system reported a cyberattack last March. In 2021, a cyberattack briefly forced Alaska’s courts offline, and in 2020, Texas’s top criminal and civil courts were hit with a ransomware attack.