E. Barrett Prettyman Court House. (Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ)
Federal court websites across the country, including the electronic filing system, were the target of a computer attack Friday afternoon, disrupting access to case information and interrupting the filing of documents.
The “denial of service attack” began at 3:22 p.m., according to Charles Hall, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The attack flooded the courts’ internet connections with web traffic, eventually making it impossible for users to access the judiciary’s sites.
Hall said court officials did not know yet who was responsible for the attack or the extent of the problems it caused. Officials are not characterizing the attack as a breach and there were no signs that any data was lost.
Users encountered error messages when trying to access the federal judiciary’s main website as well as individual federal court pages, the electronic filing system and the public access site known as PACER.
The websites were working as of press time.
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