Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: 2024

Friday, July 19, 2024

Doxpop services are unaffected by the recent county cyberattacks and widespread outages.

It has been a hard couple of weeks for the information technology world, so we decided to take a moment and reassure you that Doxpop has been unaffected by the various cyber security issues plaguing the rest of the world.

Recently, both Monroe and Clay Counties became victims of ransomware cyber attacks that crippled county IT systems for roughly a week in both cases. Doxpop provides access to court records from both counties, and recorded documents in Monroe County. 

During both of these local outages, Doxpop's services and the integrity of the data we glean from the county systems were unaffected. This is one of the advantages of having a "mirrored" database of records, because in both situations, Doxpop was able to provide online access to records that the counties were temporarily unable to provide locally.

Today, (Friday, 7/19) many organizations using Microsoft's Azure and 365 services experienced outages. While we don't know all of the details, at this point it appears that a flawed update from the CrowdStrike cybersecurity firm was the root cause. 

Fortunately, Doxpop does not depend on Windows or CrowdStrike services, so we have been completely unaffected.

The CrowdStrike issue may lead to disruptions elsewhere that affect our users, as CrowdStrike provides security services for the Indiana Office of Technology, and through an IOT program, is also used in many counties. It's reasonable to expect all of this to be cleared up by the end of the day, but it's also a good day to exercise patience and understanding if someone you interact with in local government is affected.

Edit/Update at 4:30 PM on 7/19:

Above, I predicted that surely this will all be cleared up by the end of the day... Way too optimistic!

Now we know more about the nature of the problem. It was caused by the automatic download of an update to the CrowdStrike system. My optimistic prediction was based on the notion that a patch could be deployed automatically in the same manner. -Unfortunately, this is not true. The problem renders the computer unable to boot, so of course it never gets far enough for an automated download of a patch to be applied remotely. That means most organizations will have to send a technician on-site to every affected computer, boot it into "safe" mode, delete the damaging file, then reboot in normal mode to download the patch.

That means many IT support firms that have been able to provide remote support in the past are suddenly having to dispatch people to every site they support. It will be a long weekend for these folks, and it seems likely that many sites will still be dealing with this next week.

The bottom line still holds though: Doxpop is unaffected. ...And if you're reading this message your computer must be working as well (congratulations!) Have a calm weekend, and don't take any downloads from strangers.


Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Two new features released today: E-Filing Templates and Drafts.

This morning, Doxpop released a couple of great new features to make your E-Filing easier!

Starting today, you'll see information referring to drafts and templates appear on several of the pages you use regularly for E-Filing.

Before we get into the details, we know that if this is a busy day, "Learning new stuff" might not be something you're eager to do. If that's the case, just ignore the new links, and the system will continue to work as it always has. ...But please come back later and learn when you have a free moment.

For those of you who have a few minutes to explore, here's what awaits you in the new features:

The first new feature is Templates:

In brief, templates are designed to help people who frequently file a particular type of case. You can set up a template that pre-fills the filing location, case type, plaintiff, representation, service contacts, and payment. (Or just some of these.) When you file a new case using your template, it jump-starts the process for you, saving time and reducing the chance for errors.

We have put together a brief (3:48) video that shows you how templates work:




There is also a help section that explains templates, available here:

https://www.doxpop.com/prod/in/help/HelpTopic?shortName=templates


The second new feature is multiple drafts:

Since day one, Doxpop has always saved your most recent initial and subsequent e-filing drafts so you can wander off to do other work, and come back to find your envelope still there. Now we're allowing you to save as many drafts as you wish, so you can switch between envelopes without losing your work.

Drafts are useful when you want to pause one filing and set it aside so you can work on a different filing. They are also useful in situations where you want to prepare a complete filing so you can submit it later in a matter of seconds.

Here's a short video that demonstrates how drafts allow you to juggle competing priorities and deal with interruptions:

Click here to view full screen on YouTube

Our online help system has a section on drafts available here:

https://www.doxpop.com/prod/in/help/HelpTopic?shortName=drafts


Please don't hesitate to give us a call if you have questions about either of these new features. Our number is 866-369-7671, or you can email support@doxpop.com.


Friday, June 28, 2024

Expect intermittent e-filing outages from 7:00 AM through 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 29

The State's EFM vendor will be doing maintenance on several components of the E-Filing system from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT on Saturday, June 29th, 2024. 

During this maintenance window, the E-Filing system may be intermittently unavailable. Note that it won't hurt to try filing during this time, and if the EFM is unavailable when you try to submit, your envelope will be saved so you can submit later.