Top criminal law firm fined £98k after cyber attack led to court bundles being leaked on dark web

Tuckers IT weaknesses exploited, ICO finds

One of many nation’s main criminal law corporations has been hit with a £98,000 tremendous after hackers have been in a position to entry court bundles and place a few of them on the dark web.

The ransomware attack on Tuckers Solicitors resulted within the encryption of 972,191 particular person information, of which 24,712 associated to court bundles.

The Information Commissioner Officer (ICO) found that 60 information have been exfiltrated and revealed on underground information marketplaces. Of these, 15 have been criminal issues, all however one among which had concluded, and 45 civil circumstances which have been a combination of previous and ongoing issues. The incident occurred in August 2020.

The bundles included a complete set of non-public information, together with medical information, witness statements, identify and addresses of witnesses and victims, and the alleged crimes of the people, in accordance to the penalty discover.

Though specialists couldn’t say for sure how the attackers have been in a position to entry the firm’s community, they did discover proof of a recognized system vulnerability — a safety replace (in any other case referred to as a patch) launched in January 2020 however not utilized till some 5 months later in June.

The ICO harassed that whereas the first culpability for the incident rested with the attacker, the firm gave them weaknesses to exploit. This included an absence of multi-factor authentication for its distant entry answer and the delay in making use of the patch.

The penalty discover additionally states that the non-public information saved on the archive server that was topic to the attack had not been encrypted. Whereas this will likely not have prevented the attack itself, the ICO discovered it could have mitigated a few of the danger posed to these affected.

In mitigation, the ICO famous that Tuckers had proactively sought to handle the safety considerations and engaged with third celebration specialists to enhance the safety of its system. It had improved coaching and knowledge safety consciousness all through the firm, together with via weekly communications on cyber dangers and consciousness.

In a press release the firm mentioned: “Tuckers Solicitors takes data privacy and trust very seriously. We are disappointed in this initial finding from the ICO, relative to an international criminal organisation’s attack on our system and theft of data which was already publicly available.”

It added: “We have cooperated in full with the ICO and City of London Police in their investigation. The Commissioner makes clear that he accepts that primary culpability for this incident rests with the attacker.”

“But for the attacker’s criminal actions, regardless of the state of the security, the breach would not have occurred. Following the attack we have successfully implemented a broad range of measures to prevent the recurrence of such criminal incidents and the ICO acknowledges the strengthened procedures which are now in place as we operate from a state of the art system.”

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