By Steve Schuster
A cyberattack temporarily slowed networks for Wisconsin Court system computers this week, according to Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler.
Ziegler said court data was not breached and court operations continued as usual across the state.
“The integrity of the court record is of paramount importance, and I want to recognize CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs), our state agencies and law enforcement for addressing this situation quickly and effectively,” Ziegler said.
Attorneys or self-represented litigants who may have experienced difficulty timely eFiling documents should contact the clerk of circuit court in the appropriate county.
Some Wisconsin court system computer network users, including the general public, may have experienced intermittent service or slower than usual response times to some online services early this week due to the cyberattack, officials said.
The Wisconsin court system has taken effective counter measures against a denial of service (DoS) attack that targeted the court system, said Director of State Courts Randy R. Koschnick.
The court system is working with state agencies and law enforcement to investigate the attack and take appropriate measures against anyone who may be responsible, Koschnick said.
Cyber security had previously been a topic of discussion by the Director of State Courts Office which is a part of the Criminal Justice Coalition. The coalition includes the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, the Association of State Prosecutors, and the Wisconsin District Attorney’s Association.
As part of that coalition, the group issued a proposal outlined in the Coalition’s 2023-25 Biennial Budget Proposal white paper.
The Wisconsin Law Journal obtained a copy of the whitepaper which stated, “In January 2020, CCAP established a small cybersecurity team with a focus on implementing many additional security systems and new procedures to keep the court system infrastructure and data secure. The need for a comprehensive cybersecurity program has continued to increase significantly. Cybercrime will continue to escalate, and digital records provide potential vulnerabilities for these cyber criminals to exploit. The initial cybersecurity program was funded through CCAP-Program Revenue, but there are additional tools that should be implemented that require a dedicated, sustainable funding base. Many of these tools require ongoing annual licensing costs. For the court system to realize a fully mature cybersecurity posture, there are several additional programs and tools that should be implemented over the next several years.”
2023-2025 BUDGET REQUEST states, “Provide $1,832,100 in FY 24 and $2,092,100 in FY 25 in 20.680(2)(a) for new and ongoing cybersecurity initiatives and related maintenance. This would cover the costs of a mature cybersecurity program as well as the costs for the current program. Funding would be included in the DSCO 20.680(2)(a) GPR budget, which would relieve pressure on CCAP Program Revenue Program revenues.”