Texas Courts Faced a Ransomware Attack
Texas courts shut down websites and disabled servers late last week in response to a ransomware attack, the Office of Court Administration announced Monday.
On Friday, May 8th, the Office of Court Administration (OCA), the information technology (IT) provider for the appellate courts and state judicial agencies within the Texas Judicial Branch, said they identified a serious security event in the branch network, which was later determined to be a ransomware attack.
Immediately upon discovery, OCA IT staff disabled the branch network including websites and servers to prevent further harm. The network has remained disabled since this time and will continue to do so until the breach is remediated.
OCA is working with law enforcement and the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) to investigate the breach. OCA said it was able to catch the ransomware and limit its impact and will not pay any ransom.
Work continues to bring all judicial branch resources and entities back online.
In recent years, the majority of the Texas Judicial Branch entities supported by OCA have moved many IT functions to the cloud. These services have not been impacted by the attack. These cloud services include eFileTexas (for filing of documents), reSearchTX (forreviewing filed documents), collaboration tools for editing and sharing documents, and email.
"There is no indication that any sensitive information, including personal information, was compromised. Additionally, due to the structure of the IT function within the state judiciary, individual trial court networks throughout the state were unaffected by the cyberattack," OCA said.
This is not the first ransomware attack to hit a Texas agency. Last August, at least 20 state agencies were affected by a coordinated attack, according to the state Department of Information resources.