State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Senate Democrats are still computer-less

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 7, 2017 4:48 AM
Capitol Interior.jpg

A malware attack has Senate Democrats making do without computers. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Three days after a ransomware attack took the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats' computers hostage, the caucus still can't access its system or documents.

Even without a computer, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa put a positive spin on the situation.

"Our folks are operating, our offices are open, our members are conducting business as usual, meeting with constituents, and working as best they can," he told reporters.

The caucus is working with Microsoft to figure it out and the FBI to find who's at fault.

Costa said emails, saved documents, and constituent tracking information are the main things affected by the malware.

The Senate Democrats back up their servers nightly, so everything should be fine unless the backup was corrupted.

Because they aren't sure when they'll regain access, Costa said a temporary alternative is being devised.

"Emails are an issue. Emails from constituents coming in, we're not able to access those," he said. "However, working with Microsoft, we're preparing to provide for alternative, or side-by-side systems so our members will be able to have access to Internet and those type of things."

Costa doesn't yet know how the malware infiltrated the computers, and declined to say whether anyone has demanded any money in return for access to the system.

However, he was adamant on one point.

"We're not planning on paying any ransom," he said.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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