Cyber attacks on UK law firms surge by over a third

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By Legal Cheek on

Criminals seek sensitive info

The number of UK law firms subject to cyber attacks has risen sharply over the past year or so, with criminals going after the sensitive information they hold on behalf of their clients.

New research shows the number of UK outfits reporting cyber breaches surged to 226 in the year to September 30, a 36% uptick on the 166 reported over the previous 12 months.

And it’s not just small firms cyber criminals have their sights on. Legal Cheek reported recently that Allen & Overy, a member of an elite band of legal players known as the Magic Circle, had been targeted by ransomware group LockBit. The firm has so far remained tight-lipped on whether it paid a ransom to prevent the group from publishing the stolen info.

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Law firms are apparently seen as particularly susceptible to online attacks and threats of data exposure, according to Ben Marsh, deputy class underwriter at Chaucer, the insurance firm which carried out the research. “The extremely sensitive data that law firms hold on behalf of their clients makes them a very attractive target to hackers,” says Marsh.

While law firms are taking steps to mitigate against the risks posed by cyber attacks, simple phishing scams (dodgy emails that take recipients to a malicious website, for example) remain a popular route in for criminals.

Other high-profile examples of law firms being attacked was in 2017, when DLA Piper had its computer systems and phones taken offline.

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