Appellate Circuit

Highly Sensitive Documents in Federal Court Cases: A Counter Plan to the Russian Hack

The Russian hack of Microsoft’s internal systems through SolarWinds has resulted in an alternative process for highly sensitive documents.


The Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit also issued a similar order re “Highly Sensitive Documents”. The 5th Circuit elect to go with the “we’re aware and working on it”;

Security Concerns

As a precaution given the reported breaches of government computer systems, the court is developing new procedures for handling and storing certain highly sensitive documents.  These procedures will not change current policies regarding public access to court records.  The court will announce the new procedures soon.

U.S. District Court requires sensitive documents to be filed by paper in response to possible Russian hack

Jan 9, 2021 | Reposted by LIT; Jan 14, 2021

The suspected Russian hack of Microsoft’s internal systems through the SolarWinds supply chain has prompted the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to issue an order bolstering its security procedures.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley, the presiding judge, signed an order Friday requiring that certain highly sensitive documents be submitted outside the court’s normal PACER electronic filing system for their protection.

Until further notice, sensitive documents must be filed by paper or as an electronic copy on a secure electronic device with the clerk’s office, where it will be kept in a secure paper filing or standalone computer system.

According to the court’s release, this order was prompted by the recent widespread breaches of government and private sector computer systems using Microsoft operating software. Microsoft said hackers got to view some of its source code repositories but could not alter or make changes to the compromised accounts.

US Federal Courts Were Hacked After Ignoring All The Warning Signs

Russian Hackers probably gained access to the vast trove of confidential information hidden in sealed documents, including trade secrets, espionage targets, whistleblower reports and arrest warrants.

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Word of the security lapse quickly spread and applicants said that they were able to access their application files after logging out.

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Inside the clouds, the hackers, known as APT10 to Western officials and researchers, had access to a vast constellation of clients. The Journal’s investigation identified hundreds of firms that had relationships with breached cloud providers, including Rio Tinto, Philips, American Airlines Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG , Allianz SE and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Highly Sensitive Documents in Federal Court Cases: A Counter Plan to the Russian Hack
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