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US Court system demands massive changes to court documents after SolarWinds hack

February 15, 2021

Multiple senators have demanded a hearing on what court officials know about the the SolarWinds hack and access to sensitive filings.

The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearings this week on the devastating SolarWinds attack that gave Russian hackers months-long access to critical US government departments. But Senators are now demanding more information about the attacker’s infiltration of the US court system, which has already been forced to make changes in how documents are filed as a result of the attack.

Last month, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts James Duff sent a letter addressed to “All United States Judges” that admitted the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system, which holds some of the most sensitive documents held by the government, had been breached. He said the hack risked “compromising highly sensitive non-public documents stored on CM/ECF, particularly sealed filings.”

Bran Hajost quoted:

Other experts echoed that sentiment, noting that the federal court system has long needed to modernize its IT infrastructure. Brian Hajost, president at SteelCloud, questioned whether all legal documents really need web access.

He said the court needs to think about whether the benefits of providing ubiquitous access to sensitive documents outweigh the risks. He also explained that the root of the SolarWinds problem was not any internal system but vulnerabilities in third-party technology providers.

“Ongoing governmental secure supply chain initiatives, such as the DoD’s CMMC program, will most likely be expanded to cover additional critical supply chains,” he said.

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