CHICAGO (CBS) — A computer breach on the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s website, first exposed by CBS 2 a month and a half ago, is finally fixed.
CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek is always investigating, and asking why it took so long and what’s being done to make sure it never happens again.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot In West Garfield Park
Kostek spoke to the executive clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office, and he admitted that the past six weeks were as troubling and frustrating for their team as it was for lawyers and the public who couldn’t access their case information online. He said the landing page is working again, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.
Attorney Robert Kezelis said seeing the court clerk’s website back up and running wasn’t so much a surprise, “more like a huge relief.”
That’s because, for nearly six weeks, lawyers and the public were unable to access critical information about their cases online.
“I immediately started checking out my cases to make sure I’m not missing any dates, or having a case dismissed on me, or having another problem,” he said.
CBS 2 was the first to expose what the clerk’s office said was website maintenance on Aug. 13 was actually a breach. So why did it take nearly six weeks to get the site up and running again?READ MORE: 15-Year-Old Critically Wounded, Among 2 Shot In Belmont Heights Online Sale Meetup
“We had to actually acquire updated software, acquire updated platforms, run and update security so that the website is a more secure website than before we came into office,” said executive clerk Patrick Hanlon.
Hanlon said the clerk’s administration had been in talks about redesigning the website before the breach, but prioritized updating its case management system, something ordered by the Illinois Supreme Court.
“Illinois Supreme Court wants us to have it done by year end,” he said.
Hanlon said that deadline has meant the clerk’s office is now working on two parallel projects at once – restoring functionality to the existing website, and integrating the case management system so that all case documents can be accessed remotely by the public and lawyers.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to rip off the Band-Aid,” Hanlon said.
So is Hanlon confident what they’re building now will be able to withstand 21st century cyber threats?MORE NEWS: Dixmoor Boil Order Remains In Effect As Crews Continue Work To Identify Source Of Weeklong Water Woes
“Breachers are breachers, but I do believe that we have the security in place to be … to rely on that confidence,” he said.