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Law Director: Anderson Courthouse computer security possibly breached

Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager issued a statement this morning to county employees informing them of a potential security breach of the courthouse’s main computer server. The memo was sent to all elected officials, school system employees, School Board members, Veterans Service members and county contractors and says that “The extent, type and amount of data compromised has not yet been fully determined; however, this may include your confidential personal identifying data including: social security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, health insurance information and claims, payroll information, bank accounts, routing numbers, veterans service office benefit documents, and possible employee credit union account information.”

The memo, which you can read in its entirety online, indicates that law enforcement is working to determine the scope of the breach as well as to identify the perpetrators and that the County Commission is working to prevent future breaches.

(Memo from Law Director Jay Yeager to county employees) Unfortunately, I must inform you of a potential system-wide breach of our main courthouse server.  The extent, type and amount of data compromised has not yet been fully determined; however, this may include your confidential personal identifying data including: social security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, payroll information, bank accounts, routing numbers, veterans service office benefit documents, and possible employee credit union account information.

The Anderson County Commission is undertaking prompt efforts to protect this system and your confidential information from additional system intrusions.

Law enforcement authorities are working diligently to determine the scope of the breach and identify possible perpetrators.

If you notice suspicious activity on any of your accounts, please alert the Anderson County Human Resources and Risk Management Department immediately at 865-457-5400 (Ext. 300).

We will inform you of any updates when they are received, provided the law enforcement investigation is not compromised.

Commission Chairman Steve Emert indicated in a message sent to officials and provided to WYSH that he would like answers from County Mayor Terry Frank as to what happened and how, and answers from Yeager as to how to proceed going forward.

(Anderson County Commission Chairman Steve Emert) Good morning Mr. Yeager and Mayor Frank, due to the circumstances that have been brought to my attention during the Finance Committee meeting and by letter from Mr. Bearden. I am deeply troubled and concerned of the severity of this issue regarding the breach of our county server and computer system. I believe it’s our duty as representatives of this great county to inform “EVERYONE” that this effects immediately before it’s to late. With this type of information just floating around out there, it is very nerve racking to me and other county employees to know that that we could be victimized at any point and time.

As Chairman of County Commission speaking on behalf of myself and my fellow Commissioner’s , I feel this is an extremely high alert situation and that we need to take care of this matter”ASAP”. We need to do what ever it takes to address this issue and make sure this does not ever happen again.  It is our duty to stay on top of this because we owe it our employees and officials. “PLEASE” keep me and all  Commissioner’s informed on the progress of this situation.

I would like a opinion from the Mayor as to how this happened under her purview and what steps you are taking to ensure that this does not happen again. I would also like an opinion from Mr. Yeager as to what immediate actions we (those of us that are compromised) should take to insure our privacy, i.e. canceling debit cards, closing and reopening accounts that our county pay is direct deposited to, etc.  

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH’s News & Sports Director since 2000.
In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys’ and girls’ basketball and baseball.
Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA.
Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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4 comments

  1. Mr. Emert is very presumptuous to lay this fiasco at the feet of the mayor! County Commission has wrested control of the whole financial apparatus with them adoption of the 1981 act giving them that authority. And the payroll-employment records resting with Human Resources is likewise affected with a recent move to take any oversight of that office away as well. So if the commissioners want to run the whole county all by themselves the egg is on their faces!! To accuse the mayor without even knowing what happened is way over the line. The virulent animosity toward the mayor is uncalled for and getting very old!

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