Justice Department Suffers Ransomware Attack

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on Thursday said its Information Technology systems had been attacked by Ransomware, which affected some services.

The department said as a result of the IT security breach, all electronic services are affected, including, issuing of letters of authority, bail services, email, and the website.

Fortunately, child maintenance payments for month-end have already been processed and will therefore not be impacted by the system outage, assured the department.

“The breach was effected through ransomware on the evening of 6 September 2021,” said the department.

Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. It is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.

“This has led to all information systems being encrypted and unavailable to both internal employees as well as members of the public,” said the department.

The department assured all affected parties that “our IT teams are working tirelessly to restore services as soon as is practically possible”.

The department said it has activated its Business Continuity Plan and put contingency measures in place to ensure that the IT system challenges do not affect court operations around the country.

Manual recording equipment will be used to ensure
that court seatings continue as scheduled.

The Office of the Chief Master is currently using a manual process to provide bereaved families with the necessary documentation that they need to bury their loved ones.

The department’ said its IT experts are working together with state agencies to investigate and resolve the problem.

“So far no indication of data compromise has been detected,” said the department. which also apologised “for any inconvenience this may cause to the public”.