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June 28, 2022

Illinois Attorney General Denies FOIA – No Record of A Request for Criminal Investigation of Ransom Cyber Attack

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 6, 2021

Illinois (ECWd) –

The Attorney General disclosed a ransom cyberattack on the computer systems in the morning of April 10, 2021, of their office in this press release published April 29, 2021.

With more than two months passing, the Attorney General is not only unable to search key records to comply with one of our FOIA requests from May 17, 2021, they were able to deny another with an interesting twist.

I asked for three simple things.

1. A copy of any ransom notice or demand received in relation to the hacking of the Attorney Generals’ computer files and website.
2. A copy of any request for a criminal investigation into the computer hacking of the Attorney General’s computer files and website.
3. A copy of any communications with entities claiming responsibility for the computer hacking of the Attorney General’s computer system.

Today the Attorney General’s office confirmed they have no record of any request for a criminal investigation into the computer hacking of their office computer files and website.  Let that sink in, in light of one of the comments in the denial letter related to items #1 and #2.

“The records that we have determined are exempt under this section include the ransom note and information contained in our communications with the suspected perpetrators that relates to an ongoing criminal investigation and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings of this office. Accordingly, the responsive records are exempt from disclosure under section 7(1)(d)(i).” (emphasis added)

They denied my request for items #1 and 2, citing very specific law enforcement-related exemptions, however, we must admit total confusion as to how they can claim numerous law enforcement-related exemptions in one breath, confirm there is an ongoing criminal investigation in another, then deny there is any record of a request for a criminal investigation?  I wonder how those criminal investigations began?

As it stands, public officials who are required to take the mandatory Open Meetings Act and Freedom of information Act training are unable to do so as the site is still down with a claim the site is being repaired.  They also point out, “There is no set completion date for the website repairs at this time”. As far as my May 17, 2021, FOIA request, we continue to agree to extend the time for compliance since they are still unable to search their files for the requested records.

You know things are pretty bad when the very agency that is supposed to oversee the people’s rights to records is unable to even access their own records to comply with FOIA.

A copy of the denial letter can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.

FOIA 078 Closing Letter

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6 Comments
  • PK
    Posted at 20:18h, 06 July

    And it’s poor acumen for the undersigned to courtesy copy the press secretary and deputy press secretary while advising the requestor how he may appeal to the public access counselor. The undersigned, press secretaries, and public access counselor are in the same dang office!!

  • RIPLUMBER
    Posted at 22:37h, 06 July

    Take him to the PAC…

  • Dave
    Posted at 10:41h, 07 July

    “They denied my request for items #1 and 2, citing very specific law enforcement-related exemptions, however, we must admit total confusion as to how they can claim numerous law enforcement-related exemptions in one breath, confirm there is an ongoing criminal investigation in another, then deny there is any record of a request for a criminal investigation? I wonder how those criminal investigations began?” You just don’t have the proper education, to understand, logic and common sense are foreign concepts to democrat politicians

    The preceding is for entertainment purposes only

  • Greg G
    Posted at 21:38h, 07 July

    This is bullshit and Raoul knows it. Look at the list of FOIA contacts, There is none listed for the AG office.https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/FOIA-Contacts.aspx
    Any mention of his incompetence will be listed a s racist! I thought Lisa Madigan was the worst AG Illinois had but I was wrong!

    Keep voting democrat for more of the same!
    Six months after the AG web site was hacked he has no clue about how to get it back up and running!! A more useless elected “Offical” would be hard to find! Excluding Gov. Fatass! He is a poster child for affirmative action, How many qualified white people got passed over when he got the free ride to law school?

    • Aaron
      Posted at 08:02h, 09 July

      It’s election fraud. Keep turning a blind eye to the fraud and say goodbye to America. Bye bye America

  • Toni Parker
    Posted at 20:52h, 10 July

    The PAC has been routinely allowing some public bodies to ignore statutory deadlines for their responses to Open Meetings Act violation Requests for Review since April of 2020. In the case of one specific school district, attorneys for the district exceeded the mandatory period of seven business days in which to submit their response multiple times, once exceeding one hundred days before they responded. As a result, citizens and other interested parties were denied public participation supposedly guaranteed by the OMA. Raoul needs to be replaced – wonder if the Governor’s Inspector General has authority to investigate whether the PAC is failing to perform their statutory duties?

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