Kansas Courts Recovering from Cyberattack After Two-Month Outage

         

Kansas court system is gradually resuming online operations after a sophisticated cyberattack led to a two-month shutdown. The attack affected 28 of the 105 counties, and the court officials have not disclosed the hackers’ demands or whether a ransom was paid.

System Recovery After Cyberattack

Kansas courts have initiated the process of bringing their case management and public access systems back online, following a foreign cyberattack two months ago. The case management systems for district courts in 28 counties are expected to be restored by Monday, and public access to documents will be gradually re-established. While the state is working to restore online access, counties regaining online status will provide access through terminals at their courthouses.

Cyberattack Details and Recovery Challenges

The Kansas Supreme Court revealed that the judicial branch became the target of a sophisticated foreign cyberattack. The criminals stole data and threatened to release it on a dark website. The specific demands of the hackers and whether any ransom was paid have not been publicly disclosed by the judicial branch. The restoration process is a significant milestone, but challenges persist as electronic filing and case management systems for the higher courts will come back online after the district courts.

Impact on Court Operations and Cybersecurity Weaknesses

The extended system outage prompted affected counties to resort to paper filings, causing delays. The electronic logging of filings is expected to take several weeks to complete. Furthermore, the attack highlighted cybersecurity weaknesses within the state, as recent audits of other state agencies identified concerns about insufficient prioritization of IT security responsibilities.

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