News / South Africa / Courts

Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
11 Oct 2021
7:31 am

Justice dept hack: Court cases delayed after ransomware attack

Cheryl Kahla

While parts of the system are already accessible, the online functionality of other sectors must still be restored.

Photo: iStock

The Department of Justice (DoJ) and Constitutional Development on Sunday said it has “made strides in recovering from the ransomware attack”.

“Over the past few weeks, departmental officials, industry specialists and advisors […] successfully contained the spread of the malware.”

Justice department hack:

Ransomware attack disruptions

The department said “a number of online services have been reactivated in a safe and secure manner”. However, some processes are still delayed.

While most court proceedings remain intact, the team ensured “the process of payment of child maintenance to beneficiaries [was] disrupted as little as possible”.

Priority was also given to the electronic recording of court proceedings. This was to ensure courts are able to operate as normal despite the ransomware attack.

Courts are able to operate as normal, and will be “able to sync back to the central repository”.

Court case delays

Some challenges remain, and the department of justice said “a special capacity has been deployed to attend to queries on a case-by-case basis”.

“Considerable progress has been made in restoring the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS), which is an administrative system used at all courts”.

While parts of the system – such as curatorship, and portals used for historic searches – are already accessible, the online functionality of Trusts, Deceased Estates and Insolvencies must still be restored.

“Following the finalisation of a high-level assessment in respect of the possible leak of personal information, and in line with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act, the Department issued a notice on its website to its data subjects.

Personal information leaked

Earlier this month, DoJ Director-General Advocate, Doctor Mashabane said “at least 1,200 files” containing personal information may have been leaked.

The leaked data includes the names, banking details and contact details of those who have submitted personal information to the Department of Justice.

Mashabane said the department analysed the extent of the breach and found there “might be personal information that has been accessed by an unauthorised person or institution”.

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