Department of Justice says it's recovering from cyber hack causing court case delays

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Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. (Jan Gerber/News24)
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. (Jan Gerber/News24)
  • The Department of Justice is recovering from a cyber hack that caused delays at courts across the country.
  • The department says most of the court electronic recordings are intact.
  • A case management system used at all courts has also been restored.

A cyberattack on the Department of Justice that collapsed court systems across the country has been contained, the department said on Sunday.

Most of the court recordings were intact, the department added.

"Another critical area that has been given high priority is the electronic recording of court proceedings to ensure that courts are able to operate as normal. Most of the recordings are intact, and able to sync back to the central repository. Where courts are still experiencing challenges, a special capacity has been deployed to attend to queries on a case-by-case basis," it said.

READ | Justice department's IT system brought down in ransomware attack

The web portal used by transcribers to download court recordings for transcription purposes was also restored.

Additionally, the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS), an administrative system used at all courts, has also been restored. The department said parts of the ICMS, such as curatorship and online portals used for historic searches, were available and accessible.

"More work will be done in the next few days to complete the process of bringing back online functionality in respect of Trusts, Deceased Estates and Insolvencies, amongst others. The department has strengthened security measures to protect sensitive personal information under its custodianship," it said.

"Measures include upgrading our ICT security infrastructure and ensuring more stringent access control electronic and physical," the department added.

The cyber hack that happened in September caused delays at Magistrate's Courts as court systems went offline. High-profile cases, such as the murder of Gauteng government official Babita Deokaran, who was gunned down in August, were postponed as recording systems were not working.

READ | Babita Deokaran: Justice dept system hack causes delay in murder case bail bid

At the time, the department said some courts manually recorded proceedings in the wake of the hack.

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