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Local News

Pennsylvania court system websites targeted by online attack


Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
February 5, 2024

Several websites belonging to the Pennsylvania court system were the target of an online attack Sunday that prevented access to court services, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

The AOPC reported that portions of the affected websites had been restored by Monday evening. The attack prevented access to PACFile, the state’s electronic court document filing system; PAePay, which allows the online payment of court fines and tickets; electronic docket sheets and the Guardianship Tracking System, which allows guardians for incapacitated adults to file required paperwork online. 

Work was ongoing to assess and restore access to online services that remained inaccessible Monday night, the AOPC said.

A denial of service attack happens when individuals with malicious intent use computer systems to overwhelm a website or network withyg traffic, preventing access by legitimate users, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

“Our court information technology and executive team is working closely with law enforcement including CISA, the U.S. Department of of Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate the incident,” Chief Justice Debra Todd said. 

“At this time there is no indication that any court data was compromised, and our courts will remain open and accessible to the public,” Todd said in a statement.

In a statement released by AOPC shortly before 1 p.m., Todd said there was still no indication that any court data had been compromised, and the courts remained open.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.