JSO’s computer systems downgraded after ‘suspicious activity’ flagged by cybersecurity software

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office had major computer system issues on Sunday that impacted its jail dispatch and booking processes, two sources with knowledge of the situation told News4JAX.

The city said the systems are working fine, but access is limited as cybersecurity experts look into the issue.

The tributary, who was the first outlet to report the issuessaid Sunday’s “internet outages” affected the ability of police officers to file arrest reports.

According to city manager Brian Hughes, it started on Friday when the city “detected suspicious activity from an outside server through cybersecurity detection software implemented over the past year.”

“When city staff were alerted to a potential issue, they were able to quickly deactivate the account and implement precautionary measures,” he added. “The situation is contained and all systems are working properly.”

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Hughes said neither the City of Jacksonville nor the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is under ransomware attack.

In great caution, the city and JSO have taken precautionary measures to limit access while cybersecurity teams complete a deep dive throughout the system, he added. The precaution led to changes that slowed processes previously in place for dispatch systems and the filing of arrest reports, sources said.

The issues won’t impact if residents have to call 911 and report a crime.

“They can still take calls. The 9-1-1 system just fell. They just have to treat them differently,” cybersecurity expert Chris Hamer told News4JAX. “Every dispatch center has a plan when things go awry.”

An FBI spokesperson released the following statement:

“The FBI Jacksonville Cyber ​​Task Force has provided assistance to the City of Jacksonville regarding potentially suspicious activity on its system, and our technically trained cyber experts will continue to share any new information that becomes available to help them make informed decisions.

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News4JAX also reached out to several sheriff candidates about the matter.

Ken Jefferson thinks JSO officials and the city will fix this problem.

“I think they will understand. They have professionals dealing with this stuff all day so it’s just a little bump in the road. It goes to show that it can happen anywhere to anyone,” Jefferson said.

Lakesha Burton said: “I cannot offer insight without having the specific details of this current situation at JSO. Unfortunately, in today’s world, these are the threats that organizations must be prepared to deal with.

Wayne Clark said he was surprised because JSO has more firewalls than any other city’s systems and has to pass FDLE inspections, but he was unaware of the specific problem.

“The power outage the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office experienced today is a reminder of the need to update and harden the agency’s IT systems (i.e. redundant backups and software patches) to guard against ransomware attacks,” said Tony Cummings. “This type of crippling attack on our public and private sector networks, here and across the country, does not discriminate against any American institution, including our law enforcement agencies. That said. We must remain vigilant and invest in our technology upgrades to mitigate these types of attacks against JSO systems in the future.

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TK Waters declined to comment.

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