- Hackers recently breached the computer networks of several prominent U.S. law firms, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
- The firms included Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP—which represent Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies—along with several others.
- It isn’t clear what information the hackers stole, if any, but some speculate that the hackers were trying to grab confidential information to facilitate insider trading.
Law firms could be particularly appealing target for hackers because they often possess a wide range of sensitive information about their clients. Hackers have recently turned to ransomware to extort payment from organizations rather than exposing data that is important to the people who possess it. But information that could result in insider trading has the potential to be extremely profitable. Rather than a $17,000 ransom payment, for example, hackers could use the information to work the stock market.
Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP said the incident at their firm occurred last summer and involved a "limited breach" of its systems, but the reports about the incidents only recently emerged.
The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and Federal Bureau of Investigation are conducting the probe into whether or not hackers had gained information for insider trading. The FBI reportedly issued an alert recently warning law firms about potential attacks.