Grant County email hit by phishing attack

·1 min read

Sep. 22—EPHRATA — If you've received an email from anyone affiliated with Grant County government asking you to open an attachment, don't.

"If you receive an email asking you to open a proposal or the sender is sharing a file, delete the email. Do not open the email; do not input any username or password if requested," wrote Grant County Director of Central Services Tom Gaines in an email alert sent out by the Grant County Sheriff's Office Thursday morning.

Gaines said the county's email system was hit by a phishing email after a county employee opened an infected email from another county, and was soon sending out emails with the same bad attachment.

Phishing emails have links or attachments that send recipients to websites that mimic or pretend to be trusted sites and ask recipients to provide personal information like usernames, passwords and account numbers, delivering that sensitive data directly to the hands of criminals.

"We thought it came from a trusted source in Skamania County," Gaines told the Columbia Basin Herald. "It's not legitimate, and we think we got it all."

Before quarantining and deleting the infected email and files, Gaines said some emails went out, with the City of Ephrata, Motorola and at least one employee in another county. He advised recipients to delete any county emails asking people to open an attachment.

"That way their email isn't spamming all their friends and family," he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at