🔴 Commissioners OK'd contracts at Wednesday's meeting

🔴 "It was scary...especially at the beginning," Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said

🔴 A "significant and serious" DOS attack continues on the state court website

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — The cyber attack on the Bucks County Communications’ computer-aided dispatch system cost the county $375,000 and counting to solve, according to county officials.

The attack lasting nine days forced dispatchers to use "alternate methods" to take down information on 911 calls and get the information to EMTs. No data was copied or extracted from the system during the attack, according to county spokesman James O'Malley.

The county Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved a $375,000 contract with CRA International of Boston that runs through January 2027 to "provide cybersecurity, forensic, remediation, and eDiscovery services to be reimbursed by insurance."

A contract was also approved for $1,000 per hour for "outside counsel for cybersecurity, privacy, and breach matters" to an unnamed contractor.

A declaration of emergency was also approved to speed the response to the attack.

Bucks County Commissioners meeting 2/7/24
Bucks County Commissioners meeting 2/7/24 (Bucks County via YouTube)

"This was really pretty scary"

Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said no ransom was paid nor were there any negotiations with whoever was responsible. The source of the attack was ransomware called "Akira" but no other details have been disclosed.

"This was really pretty scary, especially at the very beginning when this happened to us. You see all the reports that it's happening to other people around the world and you say to yourself 'it's never going to happen here' but it did," DiGirolamo said.

The county IT team that helped restore the system was praised by Commission Chairwoman Diane Ellis-Marsegli.

“The CAD took the County two years to build, and when a cyber attack took it offline our team put the system back together in just nine days,” Ellis-Marsegl said in a statement. “We’ve still got more rebuilding to do, but we’re immensely proud of the work our staff has done so far, and we’re incredibly thankful for the assistance of our partner agencies and cybersecurity vendors.”

Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg, PA Courts website 2/5/24
Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg, PA (PA Courts), Courts website 2/5/24 (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

DOS attack continues on state court website

The state court website remains under a denial of service attack considered "serious and significant" by federal investigators although access has been restored to some services, according to Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Debra Todd.

"There is still no indication that any court data has been compromised and we appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of the public, media and legal professionals as we work to bring the entire system permanently back online," Todd said in a statement.

Courts have remained open and accessible to the public during the attack.

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