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China Cyber-Attack May Have Targeted Law Firm & Other Companies, Too

Posted Jan 13, 2010 8:43 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Los Angeles law firm representing a software maker in a federal-court piracy case against the Chinese government may have been targeted in an apparent China-based cyber-attack that led Google Inc. to threaten this week to suspend Internet service in the Asian country.

Gipson Hoffman & Pancione says in a press release that attorneys at the law firm began receiving customized Trojan e-mails Monday that appeared to come from colleagues, reports the Tech Chronicles blog of the San Francisco Chronicle. It hasn't yet been determined whether the Trojan e-mails succeeded in their data-retrieval mission of obtaining data either from individual attorney computers or the law firm's servers.

Attorney Greg Fayer, who filed the federal lawsuit last week seeking $2.2 billion in damages from the Chinese government and seven computer manufacturers over alleged theft of code from CYBERsitter LLC, tells the Pacific Coast Business Times that he can't be sure the e-mails are connected to the high-profile case.

But “I don’t believe that the timing of it was a coincidence,” he says, noting that the suit was filed less than a week earlier. "It's something we take very seriously, and we’re cooperating with [the FBI] on their investigation.”

A number of well-known companies have said that they, too, may have been targeted in China-based cyber attacks following news that Google may have been victimized in this manner, the Chronicle blog notes.

Related coverage:

Bloomberg: "Google China Threat May Reflect U.S. Companies’ Growing Unease"

Wall Street Journal (sub. req.): "Google Case Could Intensify China Trade Fight "

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