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Ransomware attack shuts Jackson County website

Jackson County’s website is down following a ransomware attack on the company providing web hosting services for the county.

Ransomware attackers typically scramble or block website data until a company pays a ransom to regain access, or they engage in blackmail by threatening to publish sensitive information.

An attack on Jackson County’s website hosting provider Managed.com appears to have taken place Monday. The company, one of the largest providers of managed web hosting, took down all its servers in order to deal with the ransomware attack, the technology news site zdnet.com reported.

The website outage comes at a critical time with Jackson County taking the lead on recovery efforts from September wildfires and dealing with a fall surge in COVID-19 cases.

Jackson County’s regular website is at jacksoncountyor.org.

A county-created website at roguevalleyrebuilds.org is also down. That website contains information on the fire recovery process and help for fire survivors.

The county has an alternate page at jacksoncounty.org where the public can access key links during the outage.

The alternate page has connections to COVID-19 data and a form property owners need to fill out to take part in free fire debris cleanup funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Oregon.

The state of Oregon announced this week that all residential and business property is covered by free programs to first clear hazardous debris from sites, and then remove all the remaining debris, including ash, rubble, burned cars and damaged trees.

Other links on the alternate Jackson County website provide information on property taxes, property and GIS data, Jackson County Board of Commissioners public teleconference meetings, marriage applications, 2020 election results, the county’s Twitter page and more.

Jackson County is continuing to send out press releases to the media and is posting information via social media.

“The Managed.com outage is still affecting our main public website. Internal county systems and data are not affected. Key online services remain available at jacksoncounty.org. No ETA yet to restore full public website. Thanks for your patience,” the county tweeted Tuesday night.

Jackson County also tweeted that its web host has warned this may be an extended outage.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Jackson County’s website is down following a ransomware attack on a web hosting company. (The Associated Press)