Court System Hit by Ransomware

State takes down
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2019 6:05 PM CDT
Ransomware Attack Hits Courts Office
Burke County Courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia. A state courts agency is the victim of a cyberattack.   (Getty/BOB WESTON)

A Georgia courts agency has been hit with a cyberattack, along with a demand for ransom. State websites including all sites, were shut down Monday so administrators could try to contain the attack, the Journal Constitution reports. Websites for the state Supreme Court and court clerks in large counties appeared to be operating, per the AP. A courts official said the attack is thought to have originated in another country. "It was probably a test," said an electronic crime researcher at Georgia State University. "The courts system is probably set up like another system they want to target."

The Administrative Office of the Courts received an email with instructions to contact the hackers, the official said. No ransom amount was specified. The agency keeps court documents and provides computer applications to local courts. There could be no breach of Georgians' personal information because the agency doesn’t keep that information, the official said. Money is the goal, said David Allen, the state's chief information security officer. "They’re just trying to get a paycheck," he said. (A ransomware attack hit Atlanta last year.)

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