Colorado State Public Defender’s Office Paralyzed by Cyberattack

A cyberattack targeting the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office has shut down its computer network, leaving public defenders across the state unable to access essential work systems.

This attack, identified as malware encryption, has rendered public defenders incapable of accessing court documents and filings and performing significant work for their clients. The Office spokesperson, James Karbach, confirmed the breach, stating that the extent of the shutdown and the exact timing of the attack are currently undisclosed. However, internal emails suggest that the statewide office could remain non-operational for up to a week.

Despite this setback, it’s emphasized that the cyberattack isn’t a threat to more of the court system. In response, the Public Defender’s Office has temporarily disabled its network and is working to safely restore its systems online, albeit with limited operations during this period.

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The attack is evident in court proceedings, where public defenders have been forced to request multiple postponements due to their inability to access necessary files and use their computers. Judges have been accommodating, rescheduling hearings, and informing defendants about the anticipated week-long duration of the computer system outage. Despite these challenges, the wider court system remains fully operational and unaffected by the Public Defender’s Office breach, as confirmed by the Colorado Judicial Department spokesman, Rob McCallum.


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