Business of Law

Hacker Steals 'Large 6-Figure' Sum from Law Firm Trust Account Using Trojan Banker Virus


An unidentified Canadian law firm reportedly lost “a large six-figure” sum over the holidays last month when its bookkeeper was tricked into providing an online password to its trust account to Internet fraudsters.

LawPRO, an entity associated with an insurance company that provides malpractice coverage to attorneys, says the hackers used a Trojan banker virus to replicate a Web page for the Ontario law firm’s actual bank. Then, when the bookkeeper entered the law firm’s password, as prompted, the hackers, who were watching through their computer program, obtained it in real time and very soon logged onto the firm’s actual trust account themselves, explains the Law Times.

“The level of sophistication of this one was unbelievable,” says Dan Pinnington. He is vice president of claims prevention and stakeholder relations for LawPRO.

Among other tips the organization provides to law firms seeking to avoid such scams, LawPRO suggests that firms educate staff about fraud prevention, including the need to be wary of seeming emails from banks, and to adopt strong passwords and security systems.

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