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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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11/27/2012 9:59:00 PM
Public printing of court documents halted due to security breach
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Citing a security breach in a software update, Sandra K. Markham, clerk of Yavapai County Superior Court, on Monday ordered that the ability to print documents from public-access court document computer terminals be shut down.

"One of my clerks was being an investigator, and she just tried to see if something he thought might happen did happen, and it did," Markham said. She would not identify the specific security flaw or how it might be exploited, saying only that it was related to the print function, which has been disabled on the terminals in both the Prescott and the Camp Verde courthouses.

"It's a flaw in the computer management system," she said, noting that all of Arizona's counties other than Maricopa and Pima, 14 in total, use the same system, AJACS, the Arizona Judicial Automated Case System, to allow the public and employees to search and retrieve court documents from terminals within government buildings. "I'm not sure how many of the other counties have given the public the ability to print (documents) on their own," Markham said.

The security flaw has not always existed in AJACS, but was created by a recent software update, she added. As far as her office knows, no one outside the staff has discovered or exploited the issue, Markham said.

Lynn Hurley, spokeswoman for Pinal County Superior Courts, the largest county using AJACS, said, "We do not allow the print function in Pinal (County). We felt - here in Pinal - that it is better not to allow the public to print at any of the kiosks or the public terminals."

The ability for the public to print at the Yavapai County courthouses will be restored once the Arizona state department that operates the courts' websites and IT program has repaired the problem, but Markham had no timetable for that to happen. For now, the public can still get printed copies by working with staff at the courthouse, who will print requested pages at the standard rate of 50 cents each.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: Problem Exists In YC IT department

The person responsible for the online database fiasco called Docugate is also at the center of this problem. There is NO problem with the software - it's the people that installed and configured it! The IT staff at YC has taken a beating over the last few years. The virus fiasco, caused by incompetent staff, caused a 2-week shutdown of the entire county operations - each computer had to be updated and cleaned individually. Problems in that department will continue as long as they keep some of the current employees. THAT should be the story here, instead of some weak excuse about the new software, which by the way may be interpreted as SLANDER by the software company. Lawsuit to ensue....

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Carl Imparel

The Clerk's Office in this County has been in complete chaos since Markham's previous "Clerk". The system is and will remained flawed until the Governor's Office investigates this

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