Colorado State Public Defender Office Faces Data Breach

According to official statements released by OSPD, the cyberattack was first detected on or about February 9, 2024.

by Samiksha Jain March 21, 2024 in Firewall Daily, News Reading Time: 3 mins read 0

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In early February 2024, the Office of the (OSPD) fell victim to a crippling , leading to significant disruptions in its operations. While the agency has been working tirelessly to restore its systems, concerns have emerged regarding the potential theft of personal data belonging to individuals involved in legal proceedings.

According to OSPD's official statements, the Colorado State Public Defender cyberattack was initially detected around the second week of February. “On or about February 9, 2024, OSPD identified that certain computer systems were locked by malware,” reads the official press statement of OSPD.

OSPD Data Breach Disclosure: Uncovering the Scope

In response, OSPD swiftly initiated measures to contain the spread of the malware and commenced efforts to safely recover its systems. However, it has been revealed that during the attack, unauthorized copying of files containing sensitive personal information may have occurred.

“Through the ongoing assessment of this matter, it was identified that some files were copied without permission in early February 2024. Those files may include an individual's name, Social Security number, driver's license or identification card number, other government identification number, medical information, and/or health insurance identification number,” informed the Official press statement of OSPD.

Despite ongoing efforts to restore functionality, OSPD has been cautious in disclosing specific details about the attack and the extent of the data breach. While acknowledging the incident, OSPD officials have refrained from providing detailed information about the perpetrators or the methods used in the attack.

In a press statement issued on February 11, OSPD officials announced that as a precautionary measure, they had temporarily disabled their computer network to prevent further damage. This action, while necessary for security purposes, has resulted in significant disruptions to OSPD systems and operations. As a consequence, OSPD's ability to provide its usual range of services has been limited, although efforts to mitigate these disruptions are ongoing.

 Colorado State Public Defender Road to Recovery

Updates provided by OSPD indicate that progress has been made in restoring certain functionalities. As of March 1, all OSPD staff have regained access to email, and trial offices across the state have been brought back online, allowing access to court files.

Despite these achievements, challenges persist, particularly in relation to digital discovery tools. Disruptions to these tools have necessitated manual workarounds, leading to delays in managing files and processing cases. However, OSPD remains committed to resolving these issues and anticipates further improvements in the near future.

In subsequent updates on March 11 and March 15, OSPD reiterated its commitment to restoring full functionality across all systems while ensuring the security of its operations.

The agency continues to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, with a focus on understanding the nature and scope of the Colorado State Public Defender cyberattack. As part of its response efforts, OSPD has provided online resources to help individuals protect their personal information and stay informed about the situation.

Individuals who may have been affected by the OSPD data breach are encouraged to visit the official website for more information and to access available resources. Additionally, OSPD pledges to provide further updates as the assessment of the incident progresses and as additional measures are implemented to safeguard against future attacks.

The ransomware attack on OSPD serves as a reminder of the growing threat posed by cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure and public institutions.


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