A cyberattack has impacted Fulton County, Georgia, where former President Donald Trump is currently being prosecuted on charges of attempting to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
On Monday, we learned that Fulton had been struck by an incapacitating cyberattack and CNN now reports that the government is still knee-capped by the attack. The District Attorney’s office prosecuting Trump’s case is currently unable to access critical systems, like the internet, phones, or the court system website. Additionally, a note on the Fulton County website says that the attack is “affecting Fulton County VOIP phone systems” as well as various other online systems.
It’s unclear what kind of cyberattack has taken place, though all of the descriptions so far bear more than a striking resemblance to a ransomware attack. Still, authorities have not yet said definitively what kind of attack has occurred. During a press conference streamed to the web on Monday, Robb Pitts, Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, gave scant details about what had transpired.
“Over the weekend, Fulton County government learned of a widespread system outage. At this time, we can confirm that the incident was the result of a cybersecurity incident,” said Pitts. “This incident has been reported to law enforcement and is under active investigation. That investigation is still in the early stages, so we will be providing limited information at this time.”
Pitts added: “At this time, we are not aware of any transfer of sensitive information about citizens or employees, but we will continue to look carefully at this issue.”
In 2021, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched an investigation into Donald Trump over allegations of criminal misconduct concerning an alleged attempt to overturn the official results of the 2020 presidential election. A grand jury indicted indicted Trump, along with 18 co-defendants, on numerous racketeering charges last summer. Four defendants have already pleaded guilty to charges and are cooperating with the prosecution. Trump and others have pleaded not guilty.
CNN notes that local authorities have “not declared any connection” between the cyberattack and the election case. Gizmodo reached out to the Fulton, County Commissioners office for more information about the incident and will update this story if we hear back.
Ransomware attacks are quite routine and are known to incapacitate governments for months. If Fulton has been impacted by one, it could take quite some time for the county to be fully operational again.
The case in Fulton is not the only one that Trump is currently involved in. The former President has been ensnared in half a dozen court cases over the past several years, even as he continues his 2024 campaign for President.