Memo to county employees from Loudon County Mayor

Good morning,

I want to give you all a layout of the last few days so that when the rumors surface you all will have the facts.

Monday morning I received a letter from a group that the return address was in California saying that our server was blocking their emails and thereby violating their first amendment right to lobby and petition. If we didn’t allow them to email us they were going to turn us in. I turned it over to Steve Fritts (county IT specialest) and Steve later told me their servers were in Europe.

Monday evening after the workshop I sat down at Anita’s desk waiting on everyone to leave and noticed there was a continuous stream of emails coming through. The emails were an attempt to hack into our server. Steve Fritts came over Monday night and cut it off. The attempt started Friday night and Monday night they sent 2,000 emails in a 30 minute period. Steve advised they were trying to find an open door to our server.

I found out this morning that one of the things they pulled was an older list of the BZA members. Keep in mind that anything the hackers were able to get was already public record. No personal information such as SSN or DOB was located on that server.

Here is the topper: At Tuesday’s BZA meeting the Sheriff and two FBI agents, including LCSD Marty Stanley who is on loan to the FBI, came in to the meeting and advised the BZA they had intercepted some form of communication from ISIS that listed the BZA members. It was an old list with former members and even former members that have passed away. They told the members as a courtesy and did not necessarily think they were in immediate danger. However, in this day and time you never know.

These may be unrelated incidents! They may not be! I spoke with the Sheriff last night and Steve Fritts is going to speak with the FBI and pass along any information he has about the cyber-attack. Let me reiterate that we do not know if these events are related but I felt like for my peace of mind and the safety of us all I should pass this information along.

All I’m wanting is for everyone to be aware and safe. No one needs to panic but everyone should exercise a little extra caution.

If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know.

Buddy Bradshaw
Loudon County Mayor