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The Looming Threat To The State's Computer Systems

Maine Public File

This week’s viral computer attack on several state government computer servers, is by no means an isolated incident. Cyber security officials say there are hundreds of thousands of attempts to hack into state computer systems every day, and the attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated.

“What we have is, although the numbers may be large, the ones we are really predominantly worried about have a tremendous amount of sophistication behind them,” says Chief Information Officer Fred Brittain.

Brittain says Maine is subject to relentless attempts to access its computers. He says the hackers are often connected to sophisticated international efforts that are spending millions of dollars.

“Many folks are still of the mind that when they think of hackers they think of a teenager in their parents basement, you know, eating Cheetos and trying to steal a social security number,” says Brittain. “And that really is not the case anymore, it is nation-states.”

He says Maine is using constantly updated security programs, but says no computer system is completely protected.

Originally posted 2:59 p.m. Sept. 27, 2019