Cyber Security

Ransomware hits US-based Law Firm counseling Fortune 500 companies

US-based global law firm Campbell Conroy & O’Neil, P.C (Campbell) has confirmed a ransomware attack on their systems. The attack had happened in February 2021.

The company in its press release said, “On 27th February 2021 Campbell became aware of unusual activity on its network. Consequently, the company conducted an investigation and concluded that the network was impacted by ransomware, which prevented access to certain files on the system.

The law firm is known to be counseling Fortune 500 as well as Global 500 companies.

Compromised Details

After its preliminary investigation, the company hired third-party forensic investigators to map out the details of the breach. The firm also notified the FBI.

Campbell in its press release confirmed that attackers accessed certain individuals’ names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers/ state identification numbers, financial account information, Social Security numbers, passport numbers, payment card information, medical information, health insurance information, biometric data, and/or online account credentials (i.e. usernames and passwords).

Significance of the attack

Campbell’s client list includes high-profile companies from various sectors including automobile, aviation, energy, insurance, pharmaceutical, hospitality, and transportation.

Some of its current and past clients include Exxon, Apple, Mercedes Benz, Boeing, British Airways, Universal Health Services, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Time Warner, etc.

There is a high possibility that attackers may have accessed some sensitive information of these companies. However, the company did not reveal the identity of the attackers and whether they only accessed the information or stole it.

A breach at a law firm is all the more important since it houses privileged information of clients. A breach of such information could prejudice a company’s ongoing affairs.

The ransomware pandemic

Campbell has offered 24 months of free access to credit monitoring, fraud consultation, and identity theft restoration services to individuals whose Social security number or information equivalent to it was breached.

The breach adds to a series of major attacks which have taken place in the last two years. Countries across the globe are scrambling to counter the threat. The US government has recently issued an online helpline to support ransomware victims. It has even issued guidance to investigate ransomware & terrorist attacks alike.

Chainalysis reported that criminals made $350 million in 2020 from ransomware payments. It shows an increase of 311% in one year. Palo Alto Networks reported an increase in ransomware payments by nearly 171%.

According to a report by Check Point Research, India is the most ransomware-affected nation in 2021. Indian organizations on average face 213 attacks every week, against 51 in the Asia Pacific Region, 29 in North America, and 14 in Europe in Latin America. Africa faces only 4 attacks per week.

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Pukhraj Biala

I am an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law school, NOIDA, pursuing B.A.LL.B. I am a problem solver who believes in reaching to a conclusion by weighing all the options and identifying the best possible one. I find Technology Laws quite fascinating and I continue to follow and learn the subject.

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