Kansas Court System Recovering From Ransom Attack
January 22, 2024
The Record reports that during a speech before the Kansas legislature, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert said that the Kansas state court system is near full recovery from an October ransomware attack that forced officials to use paper records for weeks.
Luckert devoted much of her State of the Judiciary speech to detailing the attack, and the court system’s response.
She explained that a ransomware gang carried out the attack, which was discovered on October 12, when an information services team began to investigate a network outage. It discovered that several servers in the Kansas Judicial Center were inaccessible.
Law enforcement and a cybersecurity emergency team were called. To stop the hackers from moving laterally in the system they disconnected the affected servers, which controlled district court and appellate court administration. That effectively shut down the court system.
Luckert stated that no ransom was paid as the ransom demand was constantly changing. The attack was carried out by Russians. No group has claimed responsibility for the hack yet and the total cost is still unknown.
According to Luckert, there were hopes for a swift recovery initially, but it didn’t happen. The systems had to be restored and then fortified because ransom victims are routinely attacked more than once.
A forensic examination confirmed the hackers’ claim that they had exfiltrated data. Luckert said that it has yet to be determined whose personal information has been compromised, and the affected individuals will be notified as soon as possible.
According to other court officers, the stolen information includes Office of Judicial Administration files, district court case records on appeal, and other data, “some of which may be confidential under law.”
Luckert made a point of noting that the court’s budget request for fiscal year 2025 includes funding to cover several new cybersecurity positions.
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