TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Taylor County offices will be leaving its longtime email server host company, Rackspace. The company was hit by a ransomware attack last Friday, which shut down half of all Taylor County employees’ email accounts and lost any related data the emails contained.

Taylor County IT director Rebecca Eidson told KTAB/KRBC her department has been working to get service restored as soon as possible. Of the 559 Taylor County email accounts hosted by Rackspace, only 264 were hit.

“About half of our emails are ‘hosted exchange,’ the other half are ‘web mail,'” explained Eidson.

According to a Rackspace news release, the attack was isolated to the hosted exchange accounts, a server separate from the web mail accounts. For that reason, departments like the Sheriff’s Office and Jail are mostly up and running, as they were hosted in the web mail realm.

“We will be working with Rackspace in trying to get [affected] emails added to our web mail so that people that need to continue their communications through email can have a source until we get to the new platform,” Eidson said.

The decision to leave Rackspace was approved by County Commissioners at Tuesday’s emergency meeting. Judge Downing Bolls said the county was in complete support of Eidson’s procedures to better secure Taylor County’s digital data.

“I have 100% confidence in her, she is excellent,” boasted Judge Bolls. “Immediately when she found out about it, she let us know we might have a problem here.”

Eidson explained that the county will move to a Microsoft Azure-based cloud system. It’s a move that has the added benefit of heightened security, as the server will be hosted in the Government cloud.

“It’s in the government cloud, so we anticipate things being a lot more secure,” Eidson said with confidence.

The only question, now, is whether or not the email information being held for ransom will be recovered. No personal records were put in danger, according to Eidson, but in situations like this, it’s possible the email data could never return.

“We are going to be working with Rackspace to try to get any historical data that we can,” Eidson assured. “If we can, great. If we can’t, well… Your email box just got cleaned out.”

As the county works to restore service, many offices will be operating off phone systems only. Eidson said the temporary service could be restored within the next three weeks, and the new server should be up and running by the end of the year.

“We’re gonna be busy for a while. Thankfully, I’ve got a great team of guys who never fail to step up,” praised Eidson.

While systems are down, Judge Bolls said he’d advise anyone who fears important information might be delayed, to confirm appointments via phone.

Tap here for the phone directory of Taylor County departments.

“If you have a court date coming up, or if you have one scheduled, I would just call ahead of time to see if it’s still on,” Judge Bolls encouraged. “Again, all of those systems are functioning. It’s just primarily the emails where you go back and forth that are down.”