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Even Courts Are Not Safe from Data Breach and Cyber-liability Risks and Philadelphia Courts Remain Down (PA)

May 30, 2019

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<span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; color: #212121;">On Tuesday May 21, 2019, a virus on a number of computers in Philadelphia’s Court System led to the court <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Philadelphia-Court-Shutdown.pdf">shutting down its site and e-filing</a>.  The city officials and the court were unsure of when all systems would go back online, but May 31, 2019, the systems are still shut down. According to city officials, the systems had to be shut down to “fully review and clean the operating system.” The city officials stated that this was not a data breach or a ransomware attack, but the systems needed to be shut down as a precaution and to contain the virus. </span>

<span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; color: #212121;">Ten days later the system remains down and there is no clear indication of when the system will again be "live."  The judiciary is aware of the system outage and if filing deadlines are missed, the outage can supposedly be referenced if needed.  Some paper filings deemed "emergency" are being accepted, but just what qualifies as an "emergency" filing is unclear.  WCM Partner and <a href="philadefense.org">Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel</a> President Bob Cosgrove has <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SKM_C65819052914140.pdf">engaged the judiciary</a> but no clear guidance has been given.</span>

<span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif;"><span style="color: #003000;">T</span><span style="font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif; color: #212121;">his lengthy shutdown has highlighted the issue of cyber-security. This is a perfect example that not just large private entities are the targets of hackers and every organization is at risk.    And as we have made clear is recent posts from <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/2019/01/wcm-partner-publishes-essay-in-defense-research-institute-data-and-security-dispatch/">January 2, 2019</a> and  <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/2019/05/data-sellers-face-increased-risks-for-vendor-breaches/">May 9, 2019</a>, risks associated with data breaches are on the rise, as are insurance products to address those risks.  Thanks to Melisa Buchowiec for her contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="mailto:rcosgrove@wcmlaw.com">Bob Cosgrove</a> with any questions about the post, the attached articles, or our cyber-liability practice.</span></span>

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