Widespread Disruption To Criminal Justice Secure Email Service

A secure email service used by judges, Crown prosecutors and an array of public sector justice organisations in England and Wales, has been subjected to widespread service failure this week.

The Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM), responsible for servicing over 600,000 email accounts, went down last week with the company, Egress Technologies, unclear as to how long it would take the service to resume.

With service failure estimated for up to two weeks, it has meant that over 75,000 accounts have been almost useless. In order to restore the service, Egress Technologies needed to wipe the effected mailboxes for up to two weeks.

It is thought that this will massively inconvenience service users who frequently use the CJSM system to send important documents.

Although the shut-down seemed sudden, it has been reported that the CJSM systems had been experiencing difficulties in the days leading up to the service outage last week.

An Egress Technologies representative said: “We estimate the restoration process to take up to 2 weeks, however we will provide an update as this progresses over the next few days.”

A Ministry of Justice Spokesperson commented: “Around an eighth of users (75,000) of the Criminal Justice secure email system (CJSM) have been affected over the last 36 hours but are now able to send and receive emails again.

“The overwhelming majority (550,000) were unaffected. We will be restoring the email history of those affected over the next few days.”

Many have argued that two weeks to fully restore or even rebuild the affected mail boxes is excessive. Egress Technologies were clear that the problem was the result of severe service degradation and not an attack and that the time taken was used to improve the old system and ensure functionality in the future.

Whilst Egress were concerned that it could take a fortnight to fully restore and improve the severe service degradation to CJSM, they issued a response on January 22nd informing CJSM users that all mailboxes had been restored.