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Kansas judiciary plans to begin restoration in December of IT systems hit by cyberattack

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Timeline may slip as local, state technology networks brought online

TOPEKA — Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert said Tuesday the information system used by more than 100 district courts in Kansas crippled in an early October cyberattack could be restored by the end of December.

The judicial branch disclosed the disruption in 104 of 105 counties — Johnson County operates on an independent network — following the Oct. 12 incident. Subsequently, Supreme Court justices said the system depended on to electronically file documents and to process court cases was undermined by sophisticated international criminals. The judicial branch didn’t release an update of what information was stolen or whether perpetrators sought a ransom.

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The state set up secure computer access last week at the Judicial Center in Topeka to provide the public appointment-only opportunities to  search district court case information. A separate service center was established to address needs of district courts until the Kansas eCourt case management system was operational.

Luckert said the timeline outlined in the recovery plan was subject to change.

“To help us prepare our recovery timeline, we sought input from cybersecurity incident recovery experts,” she said. “While we believe our estimate is realistic, we must be prepared for fluctuations as we move forward with our plan.”

Johnson County processes cases on a standalone case management system, but the populous county has been scheduled to join the Kansas eCourt system in 2024.

The judicial branch plans to relaunch Kansas eCourt and the Kansas Courts eFiling system for district courts before turning on the District Court Public Access Portal providing the general public access to case information. The online portal would typically be used to process electronic payment of fines, fees and other costs.

The efiling and case management systems used by the Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals would be brought back online after securing operations of district court systems, officials said.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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