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(TNS) — The hack of the city Law Department is causing major delays in high-profile lawsuits over the NYPD’s response to racial protests last summer, a new court filing revealed Wednesday.
Lawyers for protesters and the state attorney general’s office wrote in a letter in Manhattan Federal Court that their adversaries in the Law Department seemed in the dark about the scope of the hack now in its fourth day.
“Defense counsel said that due to the disruption of the Law Department’s computer systems — which the Law Department says has shut down their entire computer system, making even the most basic litigation tasks impossible — she could not say when Defendants will begin producing documents. Counsel had no specific information concerning the technical issues in her office, which appear to be caused by a hacker, nor an expected timeline for resolving them,” lawyer Remy Green wrote, recounting a Tuesday phone call with a city attorney.
Green and other lawyers seek a hearing to address the delays and want a technical expert from the city to attend and answer questions about the hack.
Judge Colleen McMahon is overseeing lawsuits, including one filed by state Attorney General Letitia James, alleging the NYPD violated protesters’ civil rights last summer following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“My sense on the call was that they very much do not have it under control and do not know what’s going on,” said Joshua Moskovitz, another attorney on the protest cases.
Meanwhile, city officials continued to dodge questions about whether the Law Department used multifactor authentication, which is widely considered a cybersecurity best practice.
A policy memo issued by the New York City’s Cyber Command two years ago stated the security measure is a requirement for city workers with “restricted” or “sensitive” information access as of April 23, 2019.
But city officials refused to say whether the Law Department used multifactor authentication at the time of the hack.
A Law Department spokesman declined to comment on the matter aside from saying that discussing it in public is…