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Ransomware Attack Hits Law Firm

A widespread malware attack hit major law firm DLA Piper on Tuesday, forcing the firm to shut down computers as a precautionary measure. DLA Piper, which has offices in over 40 countries, has since released a statement that claims there is no evidence suggesting any client data was affected.

A firmwide computer shutdown was ordered after its advanced warning system detected suspicious activity on the network. Affected computers displayed an error message screen that stated files had been encrypted and users would need to pay to access them. DLA Piper segments its networks, which worked to the firm's advantage - while computers across the United States and Europe were affected, the firm's offices in Canada and Puerto Rico escaped unscathed. 

The attack on DLA Piper was part of a much larger scheme that affected computers from the United States to Ukraine, where security researchers believe the attack originated. Over 12,500 Ukranian computers were targeted and the online attack quickly spread to 64 other countries. 

The attack was a form of ransomware, which seeks to encrypt victims' files until they pay a ransom. Cybersecurity researchers estimate ransomware brought in over $1 billion last year. This attack, which has been referred to by a variety of names including Petya, NotPetya, and GoldenEye has been likened to the WannaCry attack that occurred in May.

It is still unclear who was behind the attack. The IP address and phone number connected to the domain registration were Iranian, but officials say its possible the attacker is someone trying to mask themselves as Iranian. According to cybersecurity experts, the technology used in the recent attacks are widely available; meaning any number of hackers would have been capable of carrying them out.

 

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