Florida court pauses many proceedings following cyberattack

Jason Macuray
A Florida circuit court is dealing with a cyberattack that is hindering operations.

A Florida circuit court is dealing with a cyberattack that is hindering operations.

In a statement posted on its website, Florida’s First Judicial Circuit confirmed that “an information technology security event” was causing issues, prompting an investigation that is currently ongoing.

“This event will significantly affect court operations across the Circuit, impacting courts in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties, for an extended period,” the court said in a statement.

“The Circuit is prioritizing essential court proceedings but will cancel and reschedule other proceedings and pause related operations for several days, beginning Monday, October 2, 2023.”

People are being urged to call judge’s offices by phone to get more information on when hearings will be held.

Officials did not respond to requests for comment about whether it was a ransomware incident and no group has come forward to claim the attack.

Courts in the U.S. have faced constant attack from a variety of attackers over the last year. In February, Florida’s Supreme Court was affected by a ransomware campaign that wreaked havoc on organizations across the world.

A ransomware attack on the city of Dallas in May shuttered all municipal courts in the city for days and a municipal court in Ohio was also shut down after a ransomware attack in January.

Courts in Wisconsin, Louisiana, Ohio, Nebraska, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois have all dealt with data leaks, ransomware incidents or distributed denial-of-service attacks this year that limited operations and caused significant issues.

“Courts hold exceptionally sensitive information, which makes the possibility of data exfiltration especially concerning,” said Emsisoft ransomware expert Brett Callow.

“The delays to legal processes may also be extremely problematic in some cases.”

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Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.


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