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Dozens of clerk of court offices in Louisiana offline following cyber attack

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Friday, January 13 2023 Jan 13, 2023 January 13, 2023 1:52 PM January 13, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court is one of at least 32 clerks' offices in the state affected by a cyber attack forcing them to do things the old-fashioned way — with a pen and paper.

WBRZ checked with the following clerk of court offices, and all of them said their systems are down: Assumption, St. James, Tangipahoa, St. Martin, St. Mary, Washington, and Livingston parishes.

Some clerk's offices said half of the state is affected. At least 32 different clerks' offices around the state are impacted, according to one clerk WBRZ spoke to.

The outage involves any clerk's office that uses the Cott system software. A message on their website reads, "Cott Systems is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Our internal email is functioning and we can be reached at support@cottsystems.com."

West Baton Rouge Parish Clerk Mark Graffeo said his office has been fighting the issue for three weeks now.

"When we came back from Christmas, nothing was working," Graffeo said. "It's not like going to a drug store where you can get a prescription filled elsewhere, this is the only place records can be filed in the parish," Graffeo said.

Clerk of courts are used for anything that involves a civil or criminal matter. Their offices serve as official record keepers for things like land records, divorces, civil lawsuits and criminal records.

Right now everything is being done manually because no one in his office can access the software that holds the data for their records.

Graffeo said the company involved has been giving them daily updates. That company houses the servers that were attacked. Despite getting daily updates, there's no time frame on when the systems could come back online.

Graffeo said business is still being done, but papers are being filed away and will eventually have to be entered back into the computer system when it comes back up.

East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Iberville tell us their offices are not affected. Those parishes use a different software.

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