DAYS after retired judge Stanley John delivered a report to the Attorney General (AG) advising that the Civil Law Department (CLD) of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs be restructured, the unit claimed it was the subject of a cyber attack.
In a statement on Friday the Ministry of Digital Transformation said the AG's office detected a cyber attack on its network.
“This unauthorised and illegal access has negatively impacted operations at the AGLA and certain associated divisions. Having taken actions to minimise the threat, an investigation, in partnership with leading industry cybersecurity experts, is ongoing. In the meantime, some services that are usually provided are temporarily unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
Attorneys representing the State on Friday morning complained that they were not able to access their e-mails or statements made by opposing attorneys. The attorneys, Newsday was told, asked opposing counsel to forward their statements to the personal accounts of the state lawyers and, where possible, have the hard copies made available.
John’s advice came after a five-month probe into a missing case file that led to the court awarding some $20 million to nine men who were freed of murdering businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman. The State was ordered to make the payment after it failed to offer a defence.
After an investigation, it was revealed that the State’s case-file went missing. It was later found.
John was hired to investigate what took place and make recommendations. His main advice was that the department responsible for representing the State in civil cases be overhauled. John said the overhaul would avoid any recurrence of missing files.
Last year, manager of the T&T Cyber Security Incident Response Team (TT-CSIRT) of the Ministry of National Security, Angus Smith, said government agencies, finance and manufacturing were the most targeted for cyber attacks in the country.