Attorney-client privilege is the cornerstone that makes the legal system work. Without it, it would be impossible for lawyers to do their job and watch justice happen in a fairway. The legal world relies on secure data to exist. A data breach at a law firm is not just about the loss of money; it could also potentially ruin people’s lives. There are primarily two different types of hacking threats aimed at law firms. The first one is the more common type, which has to do with asking for a ransom. Hackers go in; they take info or lockout law firms from their computers and ask for payment to let things go back to normal.
The second type of hacking threat is specific for the legal world, and it involves spies/investigators working for other law firms who may need information about a particular client or case. Hacking that is done to steal more specific information is especially dangerous since you may not even know it happened. Hackers come in under cover of darkness, take what they need and leave, without necessarily leaving behind a trace. Being low profile is the name of the game for these types of hackers. By the time you find out what happened, it could be too late.
Cyber-crime Stats that Happened to Law Firms
- From 2016 to 2017, law firms that experienced hacking grew from 14 to 22%. This number is projected to grow even further for the next few years since law firms are slow at upgrading their systems.
- In 2018, the number of security breaches in some states more than doubled from 2017 to 201.
- Unfortunately, most law firms that experienced a breach of data security did not notify their clients, raising more questions regarding cyber threats and its resultant fall out.
There is also an interesting caveat to all this; law firms with fewer attorneys experienced fewer cyber-attacks. In cases where lawyers were working solo, they rarely suffered any attack. The lesson to be learned here is that the more lawyers an establishment has, the more communication happens between lawyers and, therefore, more exposure to outsiders trying to eavesdrop on what’s happening.
How a Human Rights Lawyer Suffered from an Avoidable Cyber Attack
Abdessadak El Bouchtaoui is a well known human rights lawyer based in the country of Morocco. He took a case involving a fishmonger who was wrongfully killed by Moroccan authorities. As a result, a movement known as Hirak Rif sprung up in Morocco, demanding justice for what happened to the fish salesman. Soon after Mr. Bouchtaoui took up the case, he got harassed by the Moroccan authorities and received threats. Things came to a head when his computers and smartphone got hacked by the well-known hacking malware known as “Pegasus”. Pegasus is software that originated in Israel, and once it installs itself in a digital device, the person controlling the malware it will have complete access to any data.
As a result of this hack, anyone Mr. Bouchtaoui talked with in connection with the case, would immediately get arrested! Long story short, he put two and two together and realized his phone was hacked into to. Matters came to a point where he no longer could work on the case and had to exile himself from his own country.
The Creepy World of Pegasus
Why is Pegasus considered to be dangerous? The answer is as follows:
- It can track phone calls and messages
- Decrypt passwords that inputted on the device
- Find out the location of the phone
- Take information from contact lists and even other apps
- Operate the camera and microphone without the user even knowing about it
In short, once Pegasus “lands” in your phone, you no longer have complete control over it. The way a phone or computer gets infected by Pegasus is by clicking a link with dubious origins or sometimes even answering a phone call from an unknown number.
How Does SKY ECC Protect Digital Systems
Needless to say, if Mr. Bouchtaoui had systems in place, like the ones offered by SKY ECC, he would not have had to deal with all the life-changing fallouts of the cyber-attack. The following are ways in which SKY ECC protects digital systems.
- When you use SKY ECC’s devices, only apps created by our company can be used on them. Since third party apps cannot be used on devices, the question of malware such as Pegasus installing on the device does not arise.
- The apps used by our devices are protected. They have their own “container,” which cannot be penetrated by any type of malware.
- Links found in websites that are not approved or recognized by SKY ECC’s systems, cannot be opened. Hence, the problem of accidentally or intentionally clicking on a malicious link does not arise.
- You could say SKY ECC’s devices are idiot-proof since only approved contacts can be added. Even after approving, our system checks to make sure the origins are legit.
- GPS capability is disabled on our phones; hence, the problem of tracking is not an issue.
- Sim cards of our phones use our hardware and Internet backbone to communicate with each other, not outside systems.
- Microphone and camera are disabled, outside of SKY ECC’ s system.
SKY ECC goes Above and Beyond to Protect You
The above security measures are only some of the main features available. SKY ECC devices use a plethora of systems and techniques to help thwart any cyber-attacks. For example, one of the key features that make SKY ECC stand apart from the rest is our use of the 521-bit encryption system, which even we cannot hack! Our dedicated servers, routers, and any other physical layer used in IP communication are all owned and operated by us. There is no question of your material traveling on third party equipment, which is the only way to ensure peace of mind in this increasingly dangerous world.
The reality is that the Moroccan situation can happen anywhere, even in peaceful democracies. You can be sure that somewhere right now, a lawyer is having to deal with the negative consequences of a hack, including a lawyer living in a “fair and just” country.