M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chinese hackers target law firms

Honestly, it hadn't occurred to me that Chinese hackers would be targeting law firms to get inside information on pending merger transactions, but then again I guess that's why I'm not head of someone's IT department:

Over a few months beginning in September 2010, the hackers rifled one secure computer network after the next, eventually hitting seven different law firms as well as Canada’s Finance Ministry and the Treasury Board, according to Daniel Tobok, president of Toronto-based Digital Wyzdom. His cyber security company was hired by the law firms to assist in the probe.

The investigation linked the intrusions to a Chinese effort to scuttle the takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. by BHP Billiton Ltd. as part of the global competition for natural resources, Tobok said. Such stolen data can be worth tens of millions of dollars and give the party who possesses it an unfair advantage in deal negotiations, he said. ...

Tobok said a law firm involved in the deal detected signs of the intrusion the same month, including network disruptions. Analyzing the attack, investigators found that the spyware designed to capture confidential documents -- and sent via spoofed e-mails -- was compiled on a Chinese-language keyboard and China-based servers were involved in the attack, he said.

-bjmq

 

February 1, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)