December 7, 2021

St. Clair Co.’s computer network is down, causing problems in prison

An online article claims the Grief ransomware gang is behind the county’s computer allegations. Cyber ​​security experts say it’s likely, but not verified.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – There are no visitors in the parking lot outside the St. Clair County Jail. But a woman tells us that she has been waiting for days to find her boyfriend who was due to be released more than 48 hours ago.

“I’m told over and over that the prison is closed because there has been a system failure since last Saturday, and I want to know what’s going on. No one can be released. No one can post bail. They can’t. can see any information, “he added. the woman – who wants to remain anonymous – told 5 On Your Side.

She said charges about her boyfriend were dropped on Monday, but prison workers couldn’t release him while their network was down.

St. Clair County IT director Jeff Sandusky said they had been working on a “network problem” since this weekend. This same network is connected to the prison’s computer system. He wouldn’t say if that was the reason some people are being held days after their release, and county leaders won’t confirm if it’s a hack, as some are saying online.

“If you go to Twitter, you will see Twitter accounts of famous hacker and cybercriminal groups posting information about where they had their last breach and their latest success.” UMSL Associate Professor Shaji Khan spoke about the propensity of hacker groups to publish their achievements.

Khan pointed out tweet claiming hacking group Grief owns 2.5 gigabytes of St. Clair County data. But the link included is not the correct St. Clair County. It points to a municipality of the same name in Michigan. He says he’s skeptical of Grief’s involvement, but he wouldn’t be surprised because it’s a very serious trend.

“Things seem to keep getting out of hand. And there is no end in sight as far as I can see,” Khan said.

Sandusky said they hope to bring the system back online soon, but that is little consolation for those who have waited days without results.

“Something needs to be done about it. Seriously. Which police department has 1,500 detainees and no [computer] system. Everything is closed, ”the woman told 5 On Your Side.

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