Klamath County commissioners approved a $5,000 deductible agreement with Portland-based data security firm ID Experts to investigate and respond to a county employee data breach that occurred on July 9.
Klamath County discovered that two employees clicked a link in a mass phishing scam email that prompted employees to share their county credentials and sign an online document.
The entire cost of the investigation will not exceed $30,000, with the county only paying the cyber security insurance deductible amount.
This breach comes four months after a previous Nigerian phishing email scam that compromised the credentials of an unnamed county employee.
In the March hack, all the employee’s emails were forwarded to an outside account. The scammer used the employee’s email credentials to mine personal information from about 80 people, who were mostly county employees.
After that cyber attack, commissioners approved an upgrade for county computers as well as a $32,135 software lease to protect their 500 computers and servers.
Commissioner Derrick DeGroot said he was not aware of any information breached in the last hack being used for nefarious purposes. He said they have confirmed that the July scam also originated from Nigeria.
DeGroot said other Oregon counties have faced similar cyber scams.
“This kind of thing is starting to happen all over,” he said. “The county is making every effort to make us more secure.”
In the wake of this data breach, DeGroot said the county will provide greater training for employees to recognize email scams. He said they are also taking steps to combat potential cyber hazards — for example, they closed the ability for employees to access work email from home about a week ago.
“There’s no way to stop those emails from coming in entirely,” he said. “It’s about how you recognize and address it.”
The county planned to issue a press release on Wednesday morning.