Cyber security attack impacts Contra Costa Library

1.9M digital books borrowed from Contra Costa County Library in 2023
San Pablo Library is located at, 13751 San Pablo Ave. (Photo credit: Pineapple Creative)

A ransomware attack prompted a network outage at all Contra Costa County Library branches and the Martinez administrative offices, Library officials announced Friday.

“It may be several days before all library services are fully operational,” officials said in a statement.

On Saturday, officials at El Cerrito Library said WiFi, printing, and online catalog were out of order but all Libraries remained open during regular hours.

“At El Cerrito we’re here for you, kickin’ it old school. LEGOs for the kiddos, good old fashioned books for all,” a post on the Library’s Facebook page stated.

The Library is working with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office to investigate the ransomware attack. No data from patrons was compromised, officials said. The server that stores patron data related to cardholders and transactions was not affected.

The Library says it collects name, address, phone number, email and birthdate from cardholders but does not collect social security numbers or credit card payment information. Last year, the Library ended the practice of collecting driver’s license numbers and removed all driver’s license information from customer records.

Despite the impacts of the cyber security attack, patrons can check out and return materials using public computers. While some online services were impacted, Discover & Go and Overdrive remained operational, officials said.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this outage is causing our patrons and ask for patience as we work to get all services back online,” said County Librarian Melinda Cervantes. “We are working closely with law enforcement, including IT experts to gather information and prevent future attacks.”

Patrons with questions about impacted library services can contact Library Administration at (925) 608-7700 during regular business hours.