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Supreme Court Prohibits Courthouse Security Test Break-ins

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has issued orders changing how the state court system conducts security assessments after two cybersecurity workers hired by state court administrators were arrested for breaking into the Dallas County Courthouse last month.

Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order Thursday that prohibits physical break-ins of courthouses and entry outside of regular business hours as part of cybersecurity testing. Court administrators also must confer with local officials on systems testing.

In addition, Cady says security contracts must be reviewed by a lawyer and the court administrator must personally approve contracts with input from building security, sheriffs and others.

The courts hired an outside law firm to investigate after cybersecurity company Coalfire broke into the Dallas County Courthouse in Adel and Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines. Two workers were arrested at the Dallas County Courthouse.

The law firm concluded there were misunderstandings over contracts terms. It also found contract language was ambiguous and there was a lack of management, oversight and proper supervision of the testing program.