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Ransomware Attacks Texas Court System; Ransom Will Not Be Paid

The Texas court system has suffered a ransomware attack. Early detection and cloud-related services limited the attack’s damage, and no ransom will be paid, according to a statement from the Office of Court Administration.

The attack is unrelated to the courts’ migration to remote hearings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Also, there’s no indication that personal information was compromised.

The court’s potential exposure was further reduced because the OCA previously moved many IT functions to the cloud.The result: Many of the courts and judicial branch agencies can continue operations, and the filing of documents continue uninterrupted, the OCA says.

Still, the OCA shut down branch networking, websites and servers to prevent further harm. The OCA is working with law enforcement and the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) to investigate the breach.

Work continues to bring all judicial branch resources and entities back online. In the meantime, a temporary web site has been established with critical judicial branch information, including information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the OCA says.

Judicial branch employees supported by OCA have received training in cybersecurity in recent weeks and will continue to receive updated training, the statement says.

The state of Texas has suffered multiple ransomware attacks over the past year. An earlier attack, involving MSP software, hit 22 local governments across the state. Texas CISO Nancy Rainosek shared five MSP security lessons after that attack.

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