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Cyberattack on Pennsylvania Courts’ Systems
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
2024-02-07

            It seems that cyberattacks on government agencies are becoming a trend.
It was just last week that Bucks County was able to restore the core functionality of their systems after a ransomware attack brought the system fully offline.
On Sunday, a cyberattack on the website of Pennsylvania's state courts agency disabled some online systems.  It reportedly did not compromise any data and didn't stop the courts from opening on Monday.
            According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a denial of service cyberattack occurs when malicious actors flood the targeted host or network with traffic until the target cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access for legitimate users.
            Early on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Debra Todd provided the following update: "As of 3 p.m., e-services and e-commerce portions of the Pennsylvania Courts website including PACFile, GTS, web dockets and court summaries, and PAePay remain operational and accessible to the public.
            "Work continues to bring court information and education web pages back online including our news and statistics and the civics education toolkit.
             "We remain in a virtual battle with an unknown opponent who continues to target our online platform through what federal law enforcement has deemed a significant and serious denial of service attack. Rest assured that our information technology and executive team along with the guidance and support of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are well equipped to meet these challenges head-on while developing a strategic plan to permanently restore all of our systems in a safe and effective manner.
            "There is still no indication that any court data has been compromised, and we appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of the public, media and legal professionals as we work to bring the entire system permanently back online. We reiterate that, amid this event, the courts have remained open and accessible."
            Later on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Justice Todd reported that portions of the websites, including PACFile, GTS, web dockets and court summaries, and PAePay had been restored. 
            She also reported that the court information technology and executive team continues to work closely with the FBI and Homeland Security to analyze and investigate the cyberattack. Work also continues to further assess and address website services that are not yet accessible.
            The court information technology and executive team is working closely with the federal government's lead cybersecurity agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI in investigating the attack.


 

 

 

 

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