While the rest of us were fretting about the Gmail outage on Friday, lawyers and those involved in the United States judicial system were concerned that uscourts.gov and other federal courts’ sites had been hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack.
Also suffering an outage was pacer.gov, the “Public Access to Court Electronic Records” (PACER), a common way for lawyers and journalists to access court documents online. (That site, which normally charges $0.10 per page for documents, also has a free online mirror, known as RECAP.)
Initially, a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the US Courts told Politico on Friday that it was indeed a denial-of-service attack. A group calling itself the “European Cyber Army” initially also claimed responsibility on Twitter.