Sign In
    Wisconsin Lawyer
    June 06, 2008

    Legal community hit by phishing

    David Bilinsky, the practice management advisor and staff lawyer for the Law Society of British Columbia, recently blogged about a "spear-phishing" attack involving the legal community. Phishers sent emails to executives that purported to be U.S. federal court subpoenas.


    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 81, No. 6, June 2008

    Legal News & Trends

    Legal community hit by phishing

    David Bilinsky, the practice management advisor and staff lawyer for the Law Society of British Columbia, recently blogged about a "spear-phishing" attack involving the legal community. Phishers sent emails to executives that purported to be U.S. federal court subpoenas.

    Phishing is an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as user names, passwords, and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. PayPal, eBay, and online banks are common targets. Phishing is typically carried out by email or instant messaging and often directs users to enter details at a Web site, although phone contact also has been used.

    As phishing attempts grow more sophisticated, it is becoming difficult to distinguish between legitimate and dangerous emails. One of the latest tricks has been dubbed "spear phishing," which is carefully crafted and targeted at particular individuals.

    When the executives clicked a link within the "subpoena," their computers were infected with malware that gathered personal information including passwords and credit card numbers. Malware is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent.

    What can you do? Commercial anti-virus and anti-spam software may help reduce your risk to some extent, but the number one safeguard is caution. Be wary of emails from senders you don't know. Review emails carefully for suspicious misspellings or obvious errors, and avoid clicking links or downloading files if you are not confident that they are safe.

    Source: ABA Site-tation, from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center found on WisBar's Practice411 Advice Alert.




News & Pubs Search

-
Format: MM/DD/YYYY