A group of business people working on laptops in an office.

Imagine walking into your office one day, only to find that all your files are locked, and there’s a note demanding a ransom to unlock them. Now, imagine that in addition to holding your files hostage, the criminals also stole sensitive and confidential information, threatening to publish it on the dark web if their demands aren’t met. That’s exactly what happened to the Kansas Judicial Branch last month.

A Cybersecurity Nightmare Unfolds

In mid-October 2023, the Kansas courts authority disclosed a “security incident” that impacted the availability of multiple systems, including the eFiling system attorneys use for document submission, electronic payment systems, and the case management systems used by district and appellate courts. Over a month later, the system status remains unchanged, with several services offline, affecting everything from electronic document filing to online marriage license applications.

The Dark Side of the Attack

While the disruption to these systems is temporary, the more concerning aspect of the cyberattack is the confirmation of a data breach. According to an update posted by the Kansas Judicial Branch, the cybercriminals not only disrupted the system but also stole data and threatened to post it to a dark web site if their demands were not met. This stolen information includes Office of Judicial Administration files, district court case records on appeal, and other data, some of which may be confidential under law.

A Familiar Pattern

This attack has all the makings of a typical ransomware assault, involving system outages caused by local file encryption and double extortion, where the attackers threaten to publish stolen files if the ransom isn’t paid. However, the announcement doesn’t specify the type of attack, and no known ransomware operations have publicly taken responsibility for it.

A Long Road to Recovery

The Kansas authority estimates that it will need several weeks for all systems to return to normal status. They have also promised to notify individuals impacted by the breach as soon as their review of the stolen data is complete. The statement from the Kansas courts takes a personal tone, calling this an attack “against all Kansas” and characterizing the perpetrators as evil.

Don’t Let This Happen to Your Business

As a business owner, you need to take cybersecurity seriously. The Kansas Judicial Branch incident is a stark reminder of the potential consequences of a cyberattack – not just the disruption to your operations, but the potential exposure of sensitive and confidential information.

At ZZ Servers, we understand the importance of safeguarding your business from cyber threats. Our team of cybersecurity experts can help you assess your current security posture, implement best practices, and ensure that your business is protected against attacks like these. Don’t let your business become another victim of cybercrime.

Contact us today to learn how ZZ Servers can help you protect your business and keep your sensitive information safe.