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Ransomware Forces Shutdown of Texas Judiciary Network

Texas revealed on Monday that a ransomware attack has forced the shutdown of its judicial branch network, including websites and servers.

In a notice shared on Twitter, the Office of Court Administration (OCA), which provides IT services to appellate courts and state judicial agencies, revealed that the attack was discovered on Friday morning, and that the network was taken down to prevent further compromise.

“The attack began during the overnight hours and was first discovered in the early morning hours on Friday. The attack is unrelated to the courts’ migration to remote hearings amid the coronavirus pandemic,” the notice reads.

OCA said it was able to “catch” the ransomware and limit its impact, but will keep the branch network offline until the breach is remediated. Work on restoring systems continues.

No ransom will be paid, OCA underlines.

“At this time, there is no indication that any sensitive information, including personal information, was compromised,” OCA said.

OCA also explains that most of the Texas judicial branch entities it provides services to have moved many IT functions to the cloud, and that these were not affected by the attack.

These functions include eFileTexas, reSearchTX, collaboration tools for editing and sharing documents, and email, which allows many of the courts and agencies to continue operations. Filing of documents also continues uninterrupted.

Additionally, OCA revealed that individual trial court networks were not affected by the incident.

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