Hackers Trigger Far-Reaching Disruption by Targeting Low-Profile Firm

Gene Naumovsky

A breach of Epiq Systems Inc. led to various companies experiencing both financial and legal consequences.

A wave of cyberattacks has quietly hit various small and midsize companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While high-profile attacks against hospitals, major retailers, and others make it to the news, analysts have been recording more instances of increasingly clever cybercriminals infiltrating smaller, and lesser-known targets. Yet, those smaller targets are often associated with large influential companies.

For example, not many know of Epiq Systems Inc., but the company holds vital positions in many high-stakes legal affairs. The company was infiltrated by hackers attempting to encrypt its file and extort Epiq. Epiq’s Chief Executive and Chief Information Officer quickly took the company’s systems offline to guard client files and restore data from backups.

Delaware lawyer Eric Monzo said, “Somebody like Epiq gets hit, it matters to everyone.” Emsisoft reported that U.S. ransomware victims paid out more than an estimated $1.3 billion to cyberattackers. Out of Beazley PLC’s documented reports, 60 percent of cyberattack victims were small and medium-sized companies.

The attack on Epiq and its following outage affected many companies.

  • The processing of restitution claims associated with puncture-prone airbags was stalled.
  • Biotechnology companies missed a March 3 trial deadline in litigation, as discovery documents were unavailable due to the outage.
  • German lender Deutsche Bank AG, the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Moody’s, Stretto, and others were affected by the attack.
  • A multitude of financial and legal problems followed, all rooting from companies’ dependence on Epiq.

One out of many lawyers involved with Epiq spoke on all the public frustration around the matter, saying “It’s like being mad at someone because a meteor hit their home.”

Read the full story here.

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