Ransomware attack hits this state's court system; no specific ransom demanded

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The effects of a ransomware attack on Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts were isolated to servers that provide case management and other applications, according to a spokesman for the office.

Bruce Shaw, the office’s communications and outreach specialist, told Ars Technica that individual courts’ networks were not affected by the ransomware, which was discovered last weekend the office’s servers by its information technology team. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also has coverage.

“Only courts who use applications hosted by our network might experience some delay in their local operations,” Shaw said. “Our understanding is that all courts are operational, but some processes normally handled by our applications may be impacted.”

The Administrative Office of the Courts was offline last week, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Michelle Barclay, a division director for the Administrative Office of the Courts, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a text file from the hackers included instructions to contact them but not a specific ransom amount.

Shaw said he could not provide Ars Technica with specific details on the ransomware but that its characteristics are consistent with the Ryuk ransomware, which has affected several companies, government agencies and cities in recent months.

The city of Riviera Beach in Florida announced July 2 that it had transferred $600,000 worth of bitcoin to the ransomware attacker that compromised its systems.

There have also been recent attacks on the city of Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Services that were not affected were moved to a new server environment, Shaw told Ars Technica. The courts’ office and a team of state and federal law enforcement and information security authorities have “started shifting our efforts to the recovery phase” and continue to explore alternatives for affected services, he said.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Virus leads to takedown of city’s court system website and e-filing”

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