Investigation continues into cyber incident on 4th District Court

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:10 PM CDT
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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - An investigation continues into a malicious cyber incident on the Fourth Judicial District Court.

Officials said the incident was limited to the Court only and did not impact either parish’s Clerk of Court office, where all case records and documents are maintained.

Carlos Smith, who owns Louisiana IT Solutions, says cyber attacks appear in different forms and can happen before you know it.

“It can actually hit within seconds,” said Smith.

Smith said it’s important to plan ahead before you become a victim. From big corporations to even the average citizen, nobody is immune.

“Everybody wants to focus on what happens after the fact, but it’s much easier to prevent it before the fact,” said Smith.

So, what can you do?

First, Smith said you never pay a ransom. He said the chances you get your information back is slim, plus you could face at an even greater risk of a second attack if you do pay.

“40% of the people that pay it don’t get anything back. They don’t get their data back. With that, of the people that do pay it 73% of the people are hit again with the same attack because what happens is if you pay it they think you have a little money and they’ll see what they can get,” said Smith.

The best solution is to have a secure program and a backup system. Smith said that’s your best and sometimes only bet to restore things back to normal after an attack.

“Now because the ransomware has gotten so prevalent and so smart, you really need to have a true disaster recovery program and what that means is that your data is fully backed up off-site. So it’s not just backed up off-site, but that server is completely virtualized in the cloud,” said Smith.

KNOE reached out to Chief Judge Danny Ellenger’s office to ask about published reports of files making it to the dark web. We were told they could not comment on the case any further because this is an on-going investigation.

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