Gilmer County, Georgia officials today posted an announcement on the county website confirming a ransomware attack on its systems. The attack required the county to take many of its public services offline to prevent further damage.

gilmer country ransomware

The website announcement reads:

“Gilmer County recently detected and responded to a ransomware incident and has taken affected systems offline while we work to secure and restore services safely. In the meantime, the public should expect delays from the County as a result.


We are actively monitoring the situation and sending updated information as it become available.


Thank you for your patience.”

As of time of writing, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The county did not answer Comparitech’s questions about whether any data was stolen, how attackers infiltrated its systems, how long downtime is expected to last, which specific services are affected, or whether a ransom was demanded.

County Clerk Edwina Daman responded to Comparitech’s request for comment with the following statement:

“Gilmer County recently discovered a ransomware attack on our computer
network. As soon as we learned this, we began working to investigate and determine the effects of the incident. We also are working with nationally recognized third-party cybersecurity and data forensics consultants to assist us.
We alerted federal law enforcement and are cooperating with their investigation.

The county is working very closely with its consultants in order to understand the scope of the incident. Because the county took its network offline to contact the attack, many systems remain down as we develop plans to continue providing services securely to the public. However, all of our essential services including 911 continue to operate.


The safety and security of our residents and our employees remains our top priority. We are working around the clock through this cyber incident and ask for your patience as we implement business continuity measures. We are grateful to have some of the industry’s top experts helping guide our response. Together, we will fully recover from this event and move forward as a stronger and smarter county.


We will keep you informed when we have further updates.”

Gilmer County is home to more than 32,000 residents. Ellijay is the county seat and the county’s largest city. Its main industry is agriculture, followed by manufacturing. Gilmer County is home to the annual Apple Festival every October.

About ransomware attacks on government organizations

Federal, state, and local government agencies and departments in the United States suffered 69 ransomware attacks in 2023, according to our data, affecting nearly 200,000 records.

Attacks on government organizations can disrupt key infrastructure and services, such as 911 dispatch centers, police departments, city councils, and utilities. Government employees can be stranded without their systems and might resort to pen and paper. In some cases, they may be able to restore lost data using backups, but in many cases, they must either pay extortionate ransoms or make the costly decision to rebuild their systems from scratch.

Remediation can take days, weeks, or even months, and can cost thousands of dollars per day. The average downtime following attacks on government organizations in 2023 was 16.42 days.

Other county governments in the USA impacted by ransomware attacks in 2024 include:

  • Henry County (March) – Medusa claimed the attack and demanded $500,000 ransom (source).
  • Bucks County (January) – Claimed by Akira. Officials did not pay the ransom (source).
  • Douglas County Libraries (January) – Claimed by Playcrypt (source).
  • Washington County (January) – $400,000 approved for recovery, suggesting it included a ransom payment (source).
  • Fulton County (January) – Attacked by LockBit. Officials didn’t pay the ransom and were awarded a $10.2 million contract to upgrade systems (source).