Westchester County Websites Hacked

Apr 3, 2012

YONKERS, NY (WAMC) - Four days after a hack attack shut them down, Westchester County's websites are back in operation. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The security breach affected several of Westchester County's offices, including the county's homepage, as well as pages pointing to the county executive, the DA, the county clerk and the Board of Legislators. The hacker left a signature message on the sites mocking the county's computer security, saying "Security is a joke! ... Your box owned by Mr.XHat."

Westchester County Deputy Communications Director Donna Greene emphasizes no important data was compromised. Some pages remained accessible. She notes that IT staffers are working to ensure that the restored websites remain secure. Greene explained the hacker found a website vulnerability to exploit. Rick Mathews with the National Center for Security & Preparedness at the University at Albany, says these types of threats are common hacker practices. Mathews urges all computer users, businesses, governments and citizens - be vigilant when it comes to protecting your data. Security experts say many "hack attacks" originate outside North America and are difficult to trace.

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