Websites, electronic filing and public record access systems for much of the federal judiciary were attacked Friday afternoon, leaving lawyers hard-pressed to meet deadlines and officials scrambling to restore service.
The so-called denial of service attacks affected bankruptcy, district and appeals courts all across the U.S. for at least a few hours.
The Supreme Court’s site remained up. But with most lawyers, judges and clerks filing and reviewing records electronically, the outages essentially shut down much of the federal judiciary.
Public users of the courts’ electronic system for reviewing records were greeted with an error message, “Server not found.”
Charles Hall, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said in a phone interview that the attack began at 3:22 p.m.
By about 7 p.m., the electronic systems for reviewing court records appeared to working again. And several court websites that were down could be accessed.
Mr. Hall said the source of the attack remains under investigation. And he said court officials had not comment on any groups claiming responsibility on social media.