HAUPPAUGE, NY–Suffolk County Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey today announced the members of the legislature’s Cyber Attack Investigation Committee (CAIC) that will hold hearings probing the cause and response of a ransomware attack that has exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of residents to the dark web.
“We worked closely with other levels of our government during this crisis to restore order and services to the 1.5 million residents of this county,” said McCaffrey. “But now it is time for answers. How did this happen, when was it known, and what is being done to ensure it doesn't happen again."
The committee, chaired by Legislator Anthony Piccirillo (R-), has been granted subpoena powers that it will employ to call individuals to testify in front of the committee. Its members are McCaffrey, Piccirillo, Minority Leader Jason Richberg (D-), and Legislators James Mazzarella (R-), Sarah Anker (D-), and Robert Trotta (R-).
“The Cyber Attack Investigation Committee is not launching a witch hunt. We are simply performing our duties as the elected members of Suffolk’s legislative branch to determine how taxpayer dollars were spent protecting the private information of our residents, critical government services, and how the administration responded to this historic attack," said Piccirillo, who is also chair of the legislature’s Government Operations committee. “This bipartisan committee will use every bit of power it has been provided to question every person who has been involved in this devastating ransomware attack.”
The committee will hire outside legal counsel to advise the panel as it proceeds with hearings, which will begin early in 2023.
“Legislators from both sides of the aisle want to know how Suffolk County was left vulnerable to this cyber attack, and this committee is dedicated to getting answers,” said Richberg.
Suffolk’s information technology system was infiltrated on September 8 by cyber criminals. The full impact of the attack remains unknown. Recently, the County Executive's office revealed that the personal information of as many as 470,000 residents and 26,000 past and current employees were stolen by the hackers.
“We still do not even know the true depth of this ransomware attack, which has already cost residents millions of dollars,” said McCaffrey. “I’m certain that as we conduct these investigative hearings we will learn how damaging this cyberattack is and the plans ensuring the residents of this county that their personal information is secure and the services their tax dollars pay for are always available, not being held hostage by criminals."