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Computer virus forced workers to work over Christmas

Computer virus forced workers to work over Christmas

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MOREAU – On Christmas Eve, a virus infected the computer system at Moreau Town Hall putting some personal data at risk.

Due to the town’s security measures and a team willing to work through the holiday, it failed.

It started when PS Technical Services, the town’s contracted IT company, notified the virus through remote monitoring.

But the company had just one person on duty that night, so Stored Tech was called in to help.

Then Deputy Supervisor Alan Van Tassel, who also works at Stored Tech, came in to oversee the fight for the town.

It took 30 man-hours, mainly on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, to get the job done, he said.

“There was some work on Christmas Day,” he added with a sigh, but said it didn’t ruin his Christmas.

The server and some employee computers were affected. In the end, the virus was erased and Stored Tech restored everything from the town’s backups. Regular backups made the difference, Van Tassel said – the town did not lose any data and no data was compromised by the virus.

Town Hall was able to open as normal Monday morning.

“I’m very happy,” Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said. “Alan worked through the holiday with a team of individuals who really knew what they were doing.”

Van Tassel also oversaw the recent conversion of the town’s computers to Windows 10, just a few weeks before they could become vulnerable to hackers.

Board members thanked him for his technology know-how on Monday, his last day on the Town Board. He lost re-election this fall.

“You’re a behind the scenes guy,” said board member Gina LeClair. “People don’t realize what you do.”

IT officials are not yet sure how the virus got into the town’s equipment, Van Tassel said

A hacker tried to hold South Glens Falls’ computer system for ransom in 2016. Stored Tech, which handles security for the village’s system, was able to fight off that attack as well.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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