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Computer virus shuts down Houston municipal courts

by
February 7, 2009
Cybersecurity
No Comment

Houston shut down part of its municipal court operations Friday, cancelling hearings and suspending arrests for minor offenses after a computer virus infected hundreds of its machines. City officials said they expected the problems to extend at least through Monday.

Court offices will remain open to allow people to pay tickets and fines, but the dockets will have to be reset, a move that will affect thousands of cases, city officials said.

It was unclear Friday how the virus got into the system, but officials promised a thorough investigation. They could not say when they hoped to have the virus removed from the city network.

The disruption cascaded through city departments, leading police to temporarily abandon making some arrests for minor offenses. Officials also briefly disconnected the Houston Emergency Center. Although some emergency communications, such as dispatching, are routed through the center, police experienced no major disruptions, officials said. [Houston Chronicle]