Kansas Court Cyber Restore, Rolling Out in Phases

December 15, 2023
1 min read
  • The Kansas judicial branch is undertaking a phased restoration of its eCourt case management system, following a five-week-long cyberattack that began on October 12.
  • Confidential information was exfiltrated and threats made to expose it on the dark web during the attack, which disrupted casework in district courts.
  • Court visitors now have the ability to search district court case information through courthouse terminals due to the restoration, although some case events and documents may not immediately appear in searches.
  • The next stage of recovery will involve the restoration of e-filing and case management systems for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals.

On October 12, the Kansas judicial branch became the target of a cybersecurity attack that lasted for over five weeks. This cyberattack proved disruptive to district courts as the Kansas eCourt case management system was compromised. The attackers did not only infiltrate the system but also exfiltrated sensitive information and threatened to expose it on the dark web. The severity of the attack prompted the initiation of a comprehensive recovery plan.

The restoration efforts are being led by Chief Justice Marla Luckert. Starting with three judicial districts, phased restoration of the compromised system is already underway and expected to cover all remaining district courts by the end of next week. Despite this positive advancement, Chief Justice Luckert acknowledges the ongoing challenges in the recovery process, particularly in relation to updating information within the case management system.

Access to the Kansas eCourt case management system has so far been restored in the 9th Judicial District (Harvey and McPherson counties) and the 23rd Judicial District (Ellis, Gove, Rooks, and Trego counties) as of Wednesday. Access restoration is planned to be phased in for three more districts on Friday and another four districts on Monday. The aim is to restore coverage for all 104 counties by the end of next week, with the exception of Johnson County District Court which will transition in 2024.

Upon restoration, court visitors will regain the ability to search for district court case information through courthouse terminals. Owing to the duration of the cyberattack, case events and documents recorded after October 12 may not immediately show up in searches. Authorities have advised that the Kansas District Court Public Access Portal will be rendered accessible again as soon as all district courts have fully restored access to the case management system.

Once the recovery process for the district court systems is complete, the restoration of e-filing and case management systems for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals will follow. Timelines will be shared by the Office of Judicial Administration as the work advances, to ensure a comprehensive recovery from this significant cyberattack on the Kansas Courts.

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