A group of cybercriminals known for ransomware attacks has started leaking files allegedly stolen from Jones Day, a major U.S.-based law firm that has represented former president Donald Trump, including in his attempts to overturn the results of the recent election.
The cybercriminals behind the ransomware operation known as Clop (Cl0p) have been known to encrypt files on compromised systems, as well as stealing files from the victim and threatening to leak them unless a ransom is paid.
The group has a website on the Tor anonymity network where it leaks files from organizations that refuse to pay up. The hackers recently posted on their website download links to tens of gigabytes of files allegedly stolen from Jones Day. The leaked files are emails and legal documents, including ones that appear to be confidential. While some of the leaked data seems to be older, some of it is dated January 2021.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Jones Day representatives confirmed suffering a breach, but said the hackers did not actually penetrate its network and instead targeted a file sharing service provided by file sharing and collaboration solutions provider Accellion.
The hackers told Vice that they stole data from Jones Day, but did “not encrypt their network.” The cybercriminals told DataBreaches.net that they hacked one of the company’s servers associated with the Accellion service and “took the data from there,” but also suggested that they targeted other systems as well.
An increasing number of organizations have come forward to confirm that they suffered data breaches due to a vulnerability discovered in mid-December in FTA, a large file transfer service offered by Accellion.
Accellion is retiring the FTA service, but roughly 50 customers had still been using it when the vulnerability was discovered, and at least some of those customers have been targeted by malicious actors. The list includes the Office of the Washington State Auditor (SAO), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and Singapore telecoms firm Singtel.
It’s worth noting that some emails and other files allegedly obtained from Singtel are also available on the Clop leak website.
The Clop ransomware operation is believed to be the work of a financially-motivated group known as TA505 and Hive0065. The threat actor, whose members are said to be Russian speakers, has been around for several years and it’s known for the development of the banking trojan Dridex and the Locky ransomware.
In recent months, the hackers have focused on so-called “big-game hunting” operations, targeting major organizations from which they are more likely to make a bigger profit.