Library updates system after malware warning

Erin Waller, Daviess County Library Director

Officials at the Daviess County Public Library took the library's server and computers offline Tuesday after receiving a warning message about malware. But the library's director said Wednesday the library has not experienced another cyberattack like the one that hampered them earlier this year.

Library Director Erin Waller said Wednesday that IT staff were checking all of the library's computers and were performing updates. The library was still checking out items Wednesday, but officials are limiting the number of items people can check out for now, Waller said.

The alert triggered memories of April's cyberattack where ransomware encrypted about 300,000 of the library's files. The attacker demanded a six bitcoin ransom, which was valued almost $31,000 at the time of the attack.

The library did not pay the ransom and was forced to limit services for a time and close for four days.

"We got an alert on a machine (Tuesday)," Waller said. "And, because we're gun-shy, we shut everything down." Library officials don't know if the alert was related to the April cyberattack.

Similar cyberattacks are "happening all over the country," Waller said. But Tuesday's event was not another cyberattack, Waller said.

"This is nothing like what happened before," Waller said. "... The only thing that's different today is we are limiting the number of items we are checking out.

"We're only cautious," Waller said.

Waller said Wednesday afternoon the library's IT specialists were making progress. Waller said she expected the library to be running normally, with no limit on checkouts by sometime Thursday, July 11.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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