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Some Texas Court Data Is Offline After Ransomware Attack

Gabriel C. Pérez

The Texas Office of Court Administration, which manages data for courts across the state, says it was the target of a ransomware attack late last week.

In a statement Monday morning,  OCA said it was attacked early Friday, forcing it to shut down some state court websites and establish a temporary one for court-related data. The office said the attack was unrelated to the statewide shift to remote hearings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and that it's working with the Texas Department of Information Resources to investigate.

"OCA was able to catch the ransomware and limit its impact and will not pay any ransom," the agency said in a statement Monday. "Work continues to bring all judicial branch resources and entities back online."

OCA says it has migrated to a cloud-based system that's not directly connected to the affected network, so the attack will not impact its systems for filing, reviewing or sharing court documents online. The office said it doesn't believe any personal data from individual trial courts was compromised in the breach.

The breach is the latest in a spate of cyberattacks on Texas within the last year. In August 2019, 23 local governments were the targets of a coordinated ransomware attack that  forced the shutdown of city websites. Weeks later, the Travis Central Appraisal District's website  was taken offline after a similar ransomware attack. In January, Gov. Greg Abbott blamed Iranian cyberterrorists for  a rash of attacks – as many as 10,000 per minute – over a two-day period.

Correction:A previous version of this story referred to the Travis County Appraisal District. It is the Travis Central Appraisal District. 

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Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit .

Andrew Weber is a freelance reporter and associate editor for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.