Hackers hired by business rivals to unearth dirt on the competition are increasingly targeting businesses that are the subjects of lawsuits. Why is this happening?
What can companies do about it?
Why hackers are targeting these businesses
Businesses involved in lawsuits with competitors often hire private investigators to attempt to uncover evidence that strengthens their cases. However, some private investigators are turning to underground hacking groups to obtain information by breaking into email systems, using surveillance equipment and other techniques. These hackers often use phishing schemes to steal the passwords of company employees. These attacks are usually executed before an anticipated lawsuit or during the litigation process.
Consequences of hacking attempts
While many of these hacking attempts fail, successful hackers have leaked victims’ emails to the public or provided them as evidence during trials. Stolen documents have affected the verdict in multiple cases.
What is being done
The FBI began investigating hacking groups in early 2018 and is attempting to identify private investigators who hire these groups to go after American businesses. However, with the majority of the hackers operating out of India, the FBI has struggled to identify them all.
The best way for businesses to protect themselves against these hackers is to improve security measures. Businesses should particularly focus on training employees to recognize and avoid the phishing schemes used to gain access to sensitive information.
These types of attacks have the potential to severely undermine the legal process. Businesses who suspect they are the victims of illegal hacking should notify local law enforcement and take steps to harden their security practices.