Major Law Firms Targeted by Cyber Criminals

Wherever there is money to be made, criminals will be there ready to take a slice of the lucrative pie for themselves. Be it Anne Bonny savaging 18th-century trade in the Caribbean or the extortionate organised crime syndicates operating in the 1950’s; with profit, comes crime.

The 21st century is, of course, no different with cyber crime being the modus operandi of choice for a lot of criminals.

Recent reports have suggested cyber criminals are specifically targeting money generated by the highly remunerative activities of law firms with Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP and  London law office CMS (brokers of cybersecurity insurance) both reporting issues. Speaking to the BBC, Stephen Tester, a partner at CMS, revealed:

“We’ve seen examples of emails [at client law firms] that purport to come from a managing partner to a more junior lawyer directing them to make payments to an account or to send certain information to an address…

…They can look very much like a regular message.”

Also adding:

“There are ways in which people can go into video-based conferencing facilities and literally listen in on meetings,”

Moreover, considering the sensitive data held, law firms present a further highlighted risk.

There are reports of some groups attempting to obtain data for insider trading deals. The Wall Street Journal noted some companies in the United States have had their computer systems compromised whilst in 2015, a group of alleged insider trading hackers scored in excess of $100m (£70m) following the accused illegitimate requisition of sensitive financial information.

Indeed, the perpetrators have been apprehended and all concomitant legal proceedings have followed, however, there are no signs of cyber criminal activity relenting and legal offices, in particular, are at risk.