Official: DOJ probing 2020 federal court system breach
Martin Matishak July 28, 2022

Official: DOJ probing 2020 federal court system breach

Official: DOJ probing 2020 federal court system breach

A senior Justice Department official on Thursday said the agency is investigating a breach of the federal courts docketing system that occurred in early 2020.

“I can assure you, based on my own personal experience, that we’re working very closely with the Judicial Conference and judges around the country to address this issue,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen told the House Judiciary Committee, referring to the organization that serves as the main policy making entity for the federal courts.

Panel Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said lawmakers first learned the “startling breadth and scope” of the intrusion in March and that it was not part of the massive SolarWinds breach that was conducted by Russian hackers and impacted a handful of federal agencies, including the Justice Department.

Olsen said he could not think of any “particular” case that had been affected by the breach and vowed to follow up with lawmakers.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) told Olsen that “it’s going to be very important for us to know how many cases have been impacted by the federal courts breach. 

“I pose that as a serious concern that this committee needs to have. And I would expect your preparation and for us to be able to get that information as quickly as possible in a setting that would be appropriate,” she said. “But this is a dangerous set of circumstances that have now been publicly announced and we need to know how many, and how many were dismissed.”

Martin is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.