Cyberattack Against Somerset County
Somerset County offices and buildings remain open for business as the County continues to evaluate the severity of yesterday’s ransomware cyberattack. Network-linked computers remain turned off, and county emails cannot be received or responded to by county personnel.
To ensure residents can reach the County we have created temporary Gmail addresses for the public to use to reach critical departments such as the County Commissioners, Health, Emergency Operations, the County Clerk, Sheriff, and Surrogate. [see list]
Members of the public with scheduled county business are advised to call the county first to confirm that appointments and services are still as scheduled. Residents can find department phone numbers online or call the main number at 908-231-7000 and follow the menu prompts to identify the appropriate department.
Agenda items scheduled for last night’s canceled Board of County Commissioners meeting will be addressed in a Special Meeting scheduled for Tuesday May 31 at 5 p.m. The agenda includes formal adoption of the 2022 County Budget.
Digital records and voting machines for the upcoming Primary Election are never connected to the county system and are unaffected. The Board of Elections and County Clerk continue to perform election-related functions as normal, with the exception that replacement mail ballots can only be obtained by telephone or visiting the County Clerk’s office. The calendar for mail-in, early, and in-person voting is not affected.
The county courts and jails are functioning as usual, and the 9-1-1- call center and county emergency services continue to operate without any problems.
Somerset County Clerk services that depend on access to county databases are temporarily unavailable, such as land records, vital statistics, and probate records. Title searches are possible only on paper records dated before 1977.
The County Tax Board continues to hear tax appeals on schedule dates, with its next hearings on June 3. Anyone with questions about an upcoming hearing can call the Tax Board at 908-541-5701 or write to its temporary SomCtyTaxBoard@gmail.com email.
“We are working hard to ensure vital services the public depends on continue to be delivered, such as recycling, road maintenance, and transportation for seniors,” said Somerset County Administrator Colleen Mahr. “We have an outstanding IT department that is working around the clock to evaluate our situation, prevent further damage, and ultimately recover.”