Philadelphia Court Slowly Recovers After Virus Attacked Website

The shutdown had a greater impact on civil cases than criminal ones. Online criminal dockets, which are on a statewide portal system, are still accessible, but some civil services have yet to be restored.

by TyLisa C. Johnson, The Philadelphia Inquirer / June 27, 2019
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(TNS) — The Philadelphia court system website resumed operations on Wednesday, more than a month after a computer virus led to the subsequent shutdown of its computer programs and websites.

The website was mostly functional, but civil-case docket searches; eJuror, an online juror system; and eFiling, used by attorneys to file pleadings, motions, and petitions, were still inoperable. A First Judicial District spokesperson said those services are expected to be operational soon.

The websites and computer programs linked to the city’s court system were shut down May 21 after a virus was found on a limited number of computers. The district temporarily suspended the website, employee email accounts, and the electronic filing system as a precaution to safeguard other city systems.

SoluStaff, a firm headquartered in Montgomery County, was hired to combat the attack and has been paid about $17,000 so far. SoluStaff was awarded a $60,000 contract for more work to help the First Judicial District modernize its systems and improve security.

The shutdown had a greater impact on civil cases than criminal ones. Online criminal dockets, which are on a statewide portal system, are still accessible.

The crippled system was briefly thought to have been affected by a virus that originated in Russia, coming as other counties in the state battled malware attacks, but officials later backed away from those assertions.

Court officials on Wednesday declined to comment on the investigation into the cause of the virus.

©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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