MASON CITY — Cerro Gordo County supervisors learned Tuesday a security breach of the county computer system was caused by someone with a European IP address.
County Treasurer Pat Wright said the breach appears to have affected just one county computer, which was targeted by the hacker.
“It was a one-in-a-million hit,” said Wright.
The incident occurred in February and was first thought to have originated with Shazam, a financial clearinghouse used by the county and other governments for transactions involving millions of dollars.
No theft occurred but county officials said it was possible the hacker gained access to county employees’ personal information since many have their paychecks direct-deposited.
The county hired McGladrey & Pullen to perform a review analysis and forensic services on an additional county computer and will continue to monitor the county network, said Wright.
“We’ve been told our firewall was effective and we will continue to review our security measures,” she said.
Wright said the FBI has possession of the computer but declined any further comment so as not to hinder an ongoing investigation.
She said the county is working with McGladrey and various authorities to make sure no further problems occur.
After the breach was discovered, the county also hired TrustedID of Palo Alto, Calif., to help individual employees guard against possible identity theft.
The county is picking up the cost, which is $93.75 per employee.
County Administrative Officer Tom Drzycimski told supervisors Tuesday 62 employees have signed up, about one-fourth of the work force.