Much press and time have been focused on malware that seeks to gain monetary compensation immediately and directly. Ransomware has become a great threat in 2017 but the actual loss from the threat has not achieved the expectations of hackers or law enforcement.
A new bred of malware has been discovered. The malware has been dubbed fruitfly spyware. The objective of this type of program is not immediate monetary gain. The program plans for a longer term siege and a much more personal attack.
Fruitfly spyware can takeover any Windows or Mac system. It can track all names and locations in a system. The malware gives the hacker control over mice, cameras, keyboards, and microphones. The insidious little program lets the hacker know when any person who is infected signs on to their compute, phone, or portable.
The original intent of fruitfly spyware was to spy on individuals. The voyeuristic photos could be spread across social media. Details of an extramarital relationship could be a potential extortion target. Many social media scenarios that threaten the reputation and earning power of individuals are possible.
One of the most detrimental potentials of this newer type of spyware threat is to legal practices. An infection that lies dormant for months and then becomes secretly active could violate most of the principles that the practice of law is based on. The system wide control of all parts of all computers basically negates attorney client privilege.
Imagine the damage that could be done to a criminal case if a client’s admission of wrong doing suddenly becomes Facebook fodder. Any divorce proceeding could be compromised. Litigants could hire hackers to use this type of spyware to sway public opinion and a jury pool in their favor.
The threat is not only to the present clientele of the legal firm. The client who has their confidential information compromised to the extent that they lose a case will naturally sue the firm for damages. A social media blitz could easily destroy the reputation and income of even the most well respected barrister and legal firms.
This new development makes the need for IT support for law practices more relevant than ever before. The few lines of code that can end your practice can be easily detected before they are unleashed. Every computer, peripheral, phone, and portable that your firm uses need a regular scrub to make sure no one is listening to your private conversations.
Much of IT support begins with your personnel. The simple basic rule of not opening emails or documents from unknown sources is a key to preventing spyware. Detection programs that update themselves when new spyware and malware are detected are a second barrier that keeps your private business private.