Cyberattack – Cott Systems

An apparent cyberattack last month against a records management vendor has left local governments in a number of states without the ability to allow for searches of their land records or electronically record documents.

The vendor, Cott Systems, supplies professional services and cloud-based software for managing data and automating workflows related to vital government records. According to its website, Cott serves about 400 local governments across 21 states.

The company told its customers last week that on Dec. 26, it identified “some unusual activity on our servers” that prompted the company to unplug its servers in an attempt to isolate the intrusion. The company’s note stated that it notified the FBI and Department of Homeland Security of the incident, but that there was no timeline for reactivating its products, which are used by local clerks and recorders to manage vital records and property deeds.

At least 25 Parishes in Louisiana have been affected.

The incident is being investigated by the FBI and Homeland Security as cyberattacks have impacted several other jurisdictions as well, including the city of Farmington, Conn.; Onondaga County Clerk of Courts in New York; Halifax County Register of Deeds in North Carolina; and Florence County Register of Deeds in South Carolina.