The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice’s (STJ) was the subject of a suspected ransomware virus attack in November of last year, leading to an interruption of several judgments and suspension of procedural deadlines, due to hackers’ invasion of the STJ systems. The attack is suspected to have used the same malicious ransomware programs that were already used in various attacks on governments and organizations around the world, which hijack large amounts of data and request a ransom for their release, and threaten to leak such data in the case of non-compliance.

It is among the most serious of such incidents to occur in Brazil to date, and is reported to affect as many as 12,000 lawsuits pending before the courts. There is a real worry in this case that the material accessed by the hackers is already copied and under their control.

In a similar case, involving a court in the Brazilian State Pernambuco, it is believed that hackers may have applied the same approach.