Rural Alabama electric cooperative hit by ransomware attack

Alabama News

FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

HARTFORD, Ala. (AP) — A utility that provides power in rural southeastern Alabama said it was hit by a ransomware attack that means customers temporarily can’t access their account information.

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, which serves about 22,000 members, said no data was compromised in the attack. But member account information and payment systems were taken offline for maintenance and as a precaution, it said in a statement.

The utility said it won’t disconnect service for customers with prepaid accounts during the interruption, the Dothan Eagle reported.

Ransomware attacks are launched by hackers who gain access to a computer system and then demand payments. While the cooperative didn’t release any information about the source of the attack, thousands of organizations were infected in at least 17 countries in a widespread assault that began Friday, the same day the cooperative announced the attack.

The cooperative, which provides service in all or parts of five counties, announced on social media that it was upgrading its computer systems last week before the attack.

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