Ga. Dept. of Public Safety still dealing with ransomware attack

Ga. Dept. of Public Safety still dealing with ransomware attack

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - Your traffic court case or car insurance claim could be slowed down if the Georgia State Patrol was involved. The Georgia Department of Public Safety is still fighting a ransomware attack that happened in July.

This impacts the Georgia State Patrol, Motor Carriers Compliance Division, and Capitol Police. The department can’t access any records from before July 26. The work for troopers on the streets has changed a little bit, but they’re still working.

“The assistance that the department of public safety provided never ceased. We were still able to work those crashes,” Lt. Stephanie Stallings, the Georgia Department of Public Safety public information director, said. “We were still able to provide the agency-assists that we do on a daily basis. It just was done in a little bit more traditional way.”

Troopers and Motor Carrier Compliance officers have been forced to hand-write their reports since the end of July. The natural question is - how does the attack impact court cases for traffic tickets, DUIs, or wrecks that happened before the end of July? That decision is up to the prosecutor and judge, but many cases are likely continued without this crucial evidence.

“We can provide the information that we have, and if a decision is made for a case to be dismissed, that’s totally on the court,” Stallings said. “That’s out of our hands once we’ve completed the case.”

There’s no timeline for getting everything back online. Computers and devices of more than 1,500 employees statewide must be scanned before that can happen.

“The last thing we want to happen is for the server to be put back online and something was missed or a device wasn’t properly scanned or just got overlooked for some reason,” Stallings said.

Stallings said troopers are still able to record video and build cases despite the attack. They do ask you to be patient if you’re waiting on any records.

DPS leaders don’t know how many crash reports, tickets, and arrests this affects. The FBI is investigating the ransomware attack. The state did not pay any fee to get their information back.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.