(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
It’s been a month since we first heard about the outage of the Philadelphia courts website, courts.phila.gov.
ICYMI: The city’s digital court systems were shut down on May 21 as a preventative measure after a virus was detected on multiple computers in the First Judicial District.
We are currently experiencing network issues with our website. We are working to restore connectivity. We apologize for the inconvenience.
— PhilaCourts (@PhilaCourts) May 22, 2019
This has affected pretty much everyone involved in the local judicial system, from people tweeting to ask about jury duty to real estate agents unable to close on deals.
Though the website still isn’t completely up and running (and officials are pretty unclear about when that will happen again), there have been some updates since that fateful day in May. Here’s a recap of everything we know so far:
- Since they couldn’t check in for jury duty online, people resorted to Twitter to check in or reschedule.
- The courts system has refused to release the name of the security firm it hired to help fix the website. Courts spokesperson Marty O’Rourke told Billy Penn revealing the name “could jeopardize the remediation process.”
- In a meeting on June 6, City Council member Brian O’Neill asked for formal hearing to determine whether or not the city is prepared for any future malware attacks. His resolution states that it must be a priority of every department as “our critical government services rely on the internet and technology to function, and as technology and the nature of cyber-attacks evolve, so too must the actions and responses of local governments to these threats.”
- The virus started to affect Philly’s real estate agents, who couldn’t get a “clear title” to double check that the homes they were selling didn’t have any unpaid mortgages or bills.
- The city has said that the outages are not related to recent cybersecurity attacks in Baltimore and Atlanta.
- Court employees’ email addresses were back up on June 6, although the employees still couldn’t use their work computers to access them.
- As of week four, the electronic Municipal Court claims systems was back up and running on June 13, as was the Criminal Document Management System which gives court filings access at public computers in the Stout Center for Criminal Justice.
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