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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stealth Cyberattacks Hit Law Firms

Recently, more than a few law firms -along with other small businesses- have been hit with ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks. Over the past few months, the WannaCrypt, WannaCry and other encryption-based ransomware have plagued businesses across Oakland County.

Ransomware is a form of malware that worms its way into a set of networked computers, corrupts or encrypts a set of files with a virus, then notifies the user of the attack, often demanding a payment. Lately, payment is demanded in Bitcoin, the anonymous block-chain cryptocurrency.

Even big law firms touting cybersecurity compliance and cyberattack damage control have been hacked. The lawyers at DLA Piper, for example, arrived to the firm on Monday of this week to discover they had been hit with the Petya or Petwrap virus. They were treated to the following message:

petwrap ransomeware

Nice. Great way to start the work week. At least payment is "guaranteed".

An even more ominous aspect to recent attacks involves evidence that hackers known as the Shadow Brokers have infiltrated the NSA, co-opted some of their most effective cyberweapons, and have unleashed them world-wide. Any cybersecurity expert will tell you that the best hackers in the world are employed at the NSA.

In New York City, the Shadow Brokers are now believed to be behind a recent ransomeware attack that was merely a smokescreen. The ransomeware feint was designed to distract the IT cybersecurity crew of the targeted business, while the virus secretly obtained employee credentials.

Once the hackers obtain mission-critical data from the business, it can disrupt and control the enterprise. Until that time, the virus operates undetected, even by the most advanced cybersecurity products.

One of the best defenses to this form of corruption is to diligently back-up your data: both off-site in the cloud, and on-site with a disk drive.

Hopefully, good will prevail over evil in this cyberbattle.

Post #596

Oakland County lawyers

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