Howard County Executive Calvin Ball’s email distribution list was hacked as part of a phishing scam, according to the county government.
The county warned residents Sunday night that Ball’s Constant Contact account had been compromised and urged recipients to delete emails from Ball with the subject line “Account Cancellation.”
The emails, which claim to come from Netflix, ask recipients to validate their account information.
Emails went out to about 35,000 recipients, about 4,550 opened them, and fewer than 700 people clicked through the link provided, according to a statement from the county Monday afternoon.
A hacker signed into Ball’s Constant Contact account at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the county. The hacker created three phishing campaigns targeted to mailing lists associated with Ball’s Constant Contact account.
The account was suspended by 8:40 p.m., after Constant Contact recognized the suspicious activity.
No data was exported from the account, according to the county, and the account was back online by Monday afternoon.
In a statement, Ball apologized to those who received the email and urged residents to update their passwords to secure their personal information.