About 10 days after the county discovered a virus and later shut down all of computer systems for anti-virus upgrades, many employees remain without crucial access and are prioritizing non-electronic duties first so they can keep getting work done.
San Benito County spokesman Kevin O’Neill talked with San Benito Live on Saturday evening about the problem that started around Aug. 16. That’s when the information technology department became suspicious of a virus issue and two days later shut down all the county’s systems.
“A lot of different computers were affected by this virus,” O’Neill said. “Right now, it is going to every single workstation and every single computer and scanning it.”
I.T. continues installing anti-virus programs on each computer, affecting the 400-plus employees who work for San Benito County.
On Monday, San Benito Live first reported that the county’s computer systems were down after routine records checks at the San Benito County Clerk’s Office, where public terminals were unavailable due to the issue. O’Neill clarified that it is impacting employees and some aspects of public-records availability, but he said sensitive data was not retrieved by any outsiders.
He said the county I.T. department, upon discovering the virus, decided it was best to “pull the plug” on all systems and that officials are remaining cautious by going through all the systems one by one, department by department.
O’Neill said essential county work is being done, while the I.T. department has worked through the past two weekends in order to resolve the issue.
“It’s a just a prioritization of what work needs to get done first,” he said. “Real critical pieces are up and running. Essential county work is still happening. The sheriff’s office is still booking bad guys. Payroll is still being processed.”