Cyberattack destroys Georgia State Bar network
Georgia State Bar officials spent much of the week responding to a cyberattack that crippled the organization’s network, website and email system.
The state bar is not part of the state government, but the Georgia Supreme Court authorizes it to conduct ethics investigations of state lawyers and punish those who violate state rules. . The organization also provides advice and assistance to state attorneys as well as a directory of attorneys.
Starting Thursday afternoon Eastern Time, the State Bar website still only contained a single page of information for members about the attack.
Officials said the incident began on Monday and they quickly hired an anonymous cybersecurity firm to investigate. The organization also said it has deployed a network-wide endpoint detection and response system.
Jennifer Mason, director of communications at the State Bar, told The Record that officials do not know if members’ data was stolen in the attack.
“Upon learning of the unauthorized access, we immediately took action to secure the network, a cybersecurity firm was engaged, and a thorough investigation is underway,” Mason said.
Mason did not respond to questions about whether it was a ransomware attack.
“We are still investigating the incident and have not determined what information, if any, the unauthorized actor was able to access,” Mason said. “Updates will be posted on www.gabar.org as additional information becomes available.
The website now provides a list of phone numbers people can call to access services.
This is far from Georgia’s first run-in with cybersecurity concerns. In 2019, the state justice system was hit by a ransomware incident following an event larger ransomware attack that crippled Atlanta city government. Jackson County officials were forced to pay $400,000 to get rid of a ransomware infection and regain access to computer systems in March 2019.
A healthcare system based in Savannah, Georgia suffered a ransomware incident last year, and the local government of Hall County was attacked by a ransomware group just before the 2020 election.