The wealth of sensitive information that law firms and public relations firms have about their large corporate clients, many of which do business overseas, is attractive to hackers, according to an Associated Press story on Boston.com. That's why the number of spear phishing attacks targeted at law firms and PR organizations has dramatically increased in the past two years.
A Nov. 17 advisory from the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned companies that the attacks typically take the form of spear phishing, or e-mails that get through spam filters because they have subject lines germane to the recipients' work and appear to come from trusted sources. The story says companies that are targeted are often those that are working on international deals. FBI cyber unit chief Bradford Bleier says getting into those networks "is a really optimal way to obtain economic, personal and personal security related information."
SANS Institute research director Alan Paller told Boston.com the hackers are usually looking for "documents that lay out the company's playbook for the deal, or its negotiating positions and tactics."