The US federal court system was hit with a significant cyber breach in 2020, unrelated to the SolarWinds attack, that a US congressman on Thursday called "incredibly significant and sophisticated."
At a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, noted that the Administrative Office of the Courts released a public statement about the breach on January 6, 2021. However, he also said: "It was only in March of this year the committee first learned of the startling breadth and scope of the court's Document Management System security failure. And perhaps even more concerning is the disturbing impact the security breach had on pending civil and criminal litigation, as well as ongoing national security or intelligence matters."
Nadler asked Justice Department official Matt Olsen what types of cases, investigations or US attorneys offices were impacted most by the breach.
Olsen, assistant attorney general for the National Security Division of the Justice Department, said he couldn't speak directly to the nature of an ongoing investigation regarding efforts to compromise public judicial dockets.
"This is, of course, a significant concern for us given the nature of information often held by the courts," he said.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said the committee needs to hear from the Justice Department how many cases were impacted and how many of those were dismissed.
"This is a dangerous set of circumstances," she said.