Published on October 24th, 2022
Aventine Properties | 2 min read
In case you don’t follow the news, Suffolk County got hacked last month by a hacking group called BlackCat (cool name, if you ask me). The attack disabled all computer access in the county office. They lost control of their websites, databases and servers. Over 4 terabytes of county documents have been stolen and a lot of it contains sensitive information. A post from the hacker’s website stated that “extracted files include Suffolk County Court records, Sheriff’s Office records, contracts with the State of New York, and other personal data of Suffolk County citizens.” They claim to also possess “huge databases of Suffolk County citizens extracted from the clerk.county.suf. domain in the County administration.” The county advised everyone to check their credit reports for any suspicious activity.
This disruption has caused the county office to return to a paper system, which has delayed a significant portion of county transactions. Police Departments have gone back to writing reports out by hand, and the hack has even caused the real estate market in Suffolk to pause the majority of its closing deals. Without access to the databases, realtors, banks and lawyers can’t verify property records. The cyber-attack could not have happened at a worse time. Since sales are on hold, buyers will have to hold onto their mortgage rate locks for an uncertain period of time which may cause some contracts to fall through. With interest rates at an all-time high (7%), it is decidedly not a good time to be a buyer in Suffolk.
If you’re in the middle of a tax grievance case, scheduling those court cases might take a little while longer. Getting in contact with anyone over at the county office has been difficult, even residents trying to make calls found that they would not go through. If you’re waiting for a refund from a previous tax reduction, those too have been delayed. But do remember that they give you interest on your money so if they don’t process the reduction for another tax bill you will be getting a slightly bigger check!
The volatility of the current real estate market has made it an excellent time to file a tax grievance to challenge your property assessment. Everyone should file. With Aventine, there is no fee if we do not reduce your property assessment, making this a risk-free process. You can get started filing a tax grievance for next year’s tax bill on our website today.