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State Bar website and email go down due to ‘unauthorized access’

The State Bar of Georgia headquarters at 104 Marietta St. in Atlanta. (Photo by Marco Correa via Wikipedia under Creative Commons license.)

By John Ruch

The State Bar of Georgia’s website, email and other internal networking went down this week due to “unauthorized access.”

The State Bar is a quasi-governmental organization that supervises lawyers licensed to practice in Georgia. It is authorized by the Supreme Court of Georgia to conduct ethics investigations and sanctions, among other powers. A notable feature of its website is a public directory of lawyers that includes information about any sanctions against them.

The State Bar announced the intrusion on May 2 but did not say exactly when it happened or what kind of breach it appeared to be. The Atlanta-based organization’s president, Elizabeth L. Fite of the firm Rogers & Fite, said on May 3 there is no further information beyond an initial announcement.

“Upon learning of the unauthorized access, we immediately took steps to secure the network, a cybersecurity firm was engaged and a thorough investigation is being conducted,” that statement said in part. “…We are still investigating the incident and have not determined what information, if any, the unauthorized actor may have accessed.”

Most of the website was down but the homepage was replaced with a primitive posting of the intrusion announcement and a list of telephone contacts. State Bar staff remained at work, just without email. The main headquarters number is 404-527-8700.

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