Law firms feeling the focus of online hacking!
Towards the end of 2017, the QLD legal profession started to feel the effects of online hackers making their way into the online files of firms and manipulating the transfer of funds. The ability for these people to access and immerse themselves into client matters is terribly confronting to all practicing lawyers as our ethical responsibilities towards client monies is so heavily regulated, and yet we now find ourselves possibly sending monies to 3rd parties without realising the client didn’t issue the instructions, but rather they came from a hacker posing as the client.
The results have meant a return to “old times” where we are now encouraged to phone clients to confirm bank account instructions rather than relying on email instructions, even where the email is from the client’s known email address.
It is a worrying trend that the more we rely on electronic communications for efficiency, the more we are put at risk and often can be at the mercy of hackers without even knowing it. The issue is not restricted to the legal profession and other professionals who are involved in the transactions involving the electronic transfer of significant monies should consider safe guards to ensure clients really are the ones providing instructions.
Call Kristy Collins, Senior Associate at Fedorov Lawyers for advice on 1300 768 719 or on 07 5667 2970.