Morrow County Court Administrator, Sara Babich and Court View Director, Gary Egner met with County Commissioners Monday to report progress on replacing court data lost in the hacking of the court’s computer system this summer on July 26.
Babich said that the hackers demanded Bitcoin in ransom to unlock the files. She noted that the files were encrypted and not destroyed. However, the court did not pay hackers the ransom. Fortunately, Morrow County judges have kept the hard copy files of all court matters and are able to use that as back up in reentering the data into the online system. Hackers were not able to take data off the court site, so that there was no identity theft involved.
The court data was not properly backed up at the time of the hack in July since the back-up system was damaged by lightening in a storm and had not been turned back on. Because the data was not backed up, the Court View staff has been working with the system to get the data replaced in the computer system from hard copy files.
Court View is the operating system used by the courts to track court filing, probations, financials and reports to the State Supreme Court. Court staff is working overtime with Court View staff to bring the data up-to-date on line.
Babich estimated that the cost of Court View will be approximately $16, 250 to restore the program with the county court staff cost being about $15,000. She said they are doing their best to keep the total cost below $30,000. The court staff overtime is necessary due to the fact that they have to do their regular work of filing records in addition to bring records up to date.
Commissioner Tom Whiston asked the Court View Director, Egner why the work was not covered as maintenance. Egner answered that Court View personnel had to go back into the data base. He said that there are areas of the system that the Clerk of Courts can’t go in to enter data. This is part of the security of the system of checks and balances. He said these controls are in place because of the experience of embezzlement in other counties in the state.
Babich added that the court system is now backed up every morning as well as subscribing to Cloud Service. The insurance company has asked for two back-ups and they now have three with the server back-up, disks and Cloud Service. The system has been used since 2002 and has never had a crash before.
Babich said they hope to have the system up-to-date in November and at the very latest be finished by the end of the year.