Fulton County tax system coming back from ransomware attack

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Intermediate

Words and phrases

cyber
/
ˈsaɪbɚ
/
to do with computers or the internet
Cyber attack: an outside group trying to break into a company or country's computer systems.
server
/
ˈsɚvɚ
/
the main storage computer on a network
ransom
/
ˈrænsəm
/
money that must be paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped
/
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The Fulton County School Board got an update on tax numbers from county officials who have been slowed down recently by the [.fow1-1]cyber[.fow1-1] attack on Fulton County’s data [.fow1-2]servers[.fow1-2].

“I just came out of one of the... meetings. And the county chairman just [said] that we did not pay any [.fow1-3]ransom[.fow1-3]. And I will tell you that we are almost back to normal, we are probably 75 percent back to normal,” Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand told the school board at its last meeting.

cyber
/
ˈsaɪbɚ
/
to do with computers or the internet
Cyber attack: an outside group trying to break into a company or country's computer systems.
server
/
ˈsɚvɚ
/
the main storage computer on a network
ransom
/
ˈrænsəm
/
money that must be paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped
/
/
/
/
ransomware
/
ˈrænsəm ˈweɚ
/
a program that hacks into a computer network, and disables it until the owner pays them money
hacker
/
ˈhækɚ
/
person who hacks
hack
/
ˈhæk
/
to secretly get access to the files on a computer or network to get information, cause damage, etc.
/
/
/
/

A clock, counting down the deadline to pay the [.fow2-1]ransomware[.fow2-1] payment, appeared on a website by the LockBit [.fow2-2]hacker[.fow2-2] group after Ferdinand visited the school board at its meeting last week. The deadline passed on Feb. 29 and nothing happened.

Going forward, Fulton County’s tax system will be in the cloud, he said. He said normally it takes about six to eight months to change the system, but the county is doing it in about two weeks.

“Fortunately for us, before we were [.fow2-3]hacked[.fow2-3], we had collected most of the money and so nobody was [hurt]," Ferdinand said. “We have continued to collect money.”

"The old checks were to be posted and the county should soon be able to take payments by credit card again online, he said.

Ferdinand said that as of Jan. 31, the county had collected 96.52% of its taxes. He said the county has collected $701.6 million out of the $727 million due in tax money for Fulton County Schools.

Final numbers for the previous tax year (2022) reached 99.5%, and the previous two years reached 99.84%, he said.

ransomware
/
ˈrænsəm ˈweɚ
/
a program that hacks into a computer network, and disables it until the owner pays them money
hacker
/
ˈhækɚ
/
person who hacks
hack
/
ˈhæk
/
to secretly get access to the files on a computer or network to get information, cause damage, etc.
/
/
/
/
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