Hackers with China gov’t ties targeted US biglaw partners’ emails: report

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Hackers with ties to the Chinese government were more successful in accessing the data of some of the most prestigious law firms in the US, Fortune reports.
According to the publication, “reliable information…indicates the breach took place as part of a larger initiative by the Chinese government.” Moreover, it said that multiple sources in law enforcement and at law firms confirmed China’s role in the email hacking campaign.
The report which relies on evidence given by unnamed sources says that the data breaches that hit US biglaw firms last year were more widespread than initially thought. At one firm, the attacks persisted for 94 days and resulted in the compromise of seven gigabytes of data which could be anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of emails.
Among those hit as initially reported by The Wall Street Journal are Cravath Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges. Cravath, a storied US biglaw who represents some of the biggest firms in the world, said that it did not see compromised information used improperly.
Echoing the Journal’s earlier report this year, Fortune notes that the practice areas of the partners targeted in the attacks include M&A and intellectual property pointing to a possible economic motive for the attacks. Evidence the publication saw includes the names of the partners who were targeted, it said.
According to Fortune, US biglaws who were targeted include Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Mayer Brown; Latham & Watkins; Covington & Burling; and Davis Polk & Wardell.

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