Malware forces Duplin County computers offline

In this Thursday, June 13, 2019 photo, ExpressVote XL voting machines are displayed during a demonstration at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. The machines are made by Election Systems & Software, one of three voting-machine companies that disclosed to North Carolina election officials the substantial ownership stakes held by private equity firms (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

KENANSVILLE — Officials in Duplin County said they have taken their computers offline because of malware. While some services to residents may be limited, emergency and essential operations will continue as usual.

County spokeswoman Elizabeth Stalls says the county hasn’t yet received a ransom demand connected to the malware since officials discovered it so quickly. Stalls also said it’s too early to determine what systems have been damaged. While most of the finance, timekeeping, register of deeds and utility payment services are down, Stalls said the public should not be worried about personal information being compromised.

Last year, both the City of Greenville and the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority were victims of ransomware, causing their systems to go down for weeks.