According to a recent alert from New York-based threat intelligence firm Flashpoint, a Russian cybercriminal has targeted nearly 50 elite law firms to collect confidential client information
The alert warns that a broker named ‘Oleras’ has been attempting since January to hire hackers to break into law firms’ computer systems, in order to learn in advance which companies are to be merged and leverage this information for insider trading. According to the alert, Oleras intended to then launder the money through front companies in Belize and Cypriot bank accounts.
A spreadsheet of potential marks includes Magic Circle outfits Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy and 46 of the U.S. largest firms, including Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis and Jones Day.
A spokeswoman for Flashpoint said the firm had notified law enforcement and the FBI was investigating as of March 4, when it published its own industry alert detailing the threat.
Another Flashpoint alert noted that Oleras had singled out eight lawyers from top firms for a sophisticated phishing attack, which appeared to originate from an assistant at a trade journal and asked to profile the lawyer for excellence in M&A.