Suffolk County seal on the outside of the H. Lee...

Suffolk County seal on the outside of the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge. March 6, 2012 Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile

Suffolk officials have postponed county civil services exams scheduled for this Saturday, after hackers infiltrated the county’s computer systems disrupting operations for more than two weeks.

A message posted on the county’s temporary website Friday  saying the exams would be postponed because of the cyber intrusion also said candidates will be notified of any rescheduled dates.

Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, confirmed the cancellation Saturday, but could not be reached for further comment Sunday.

County officials have acknowledged that the hackers, who breached the computer systems, accessed personal information from one or more county agency servers.

A notice on the county’s temporary website said Suffolk had "promptly hired multiple cybersecurity firms to conduct an examination to protect employees and residents as well as restore online services."

On Sept. 8, Suffolk County took down its web-based applications and websites to protect data after the discovery of malware in county systems.

About a week later, in a post on the dark web a group took responsibility for the attack and leaked several county documents it said it had acquired.

Those published documents included speeding tickets and court records on which the names of defendants and information about them were visible, and a handwritten marriage license from 1908.

The hackers later updated the post to say they were seeking a "small reward” for finding vulnerabilities in the county’s systems.

Suffolk officials have not released the amount being demanded and have not provided a timeline for when computer systems may be restored.

Suffolk County's former top Civil Service official, Alan Schneider, told Newsday that the postponement of exams would hurt not only job seekers, but also provisional employees.

“It’s a further delay on the determination of when they’re going to obtain permanent status,” Schneider said of provisional workers.

“Now, you’re going to have a delay for who knows how long before the exams are given," he said. "People looking for jobs are going to be penalized by having a rather lengthy wait before they’re going to be eligible to take the exams again.”

With Matthew Chayes

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