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UK Law Firm Gateley Discloses Data Breach

Gateley, a legal and professional services group in the UK, on Wednesday revealed that it’s investigating a cybersecurity incident that resulted in the exposure of some data, including client information.

Gateley, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange (GTLY), said its IT team detected a breach from a “now known external source.” The firm took some systems offline after the intrusion was discovered, but said it quickly restored core systems.

Based on the information collected by the company to date, it believes the impact of the incident was limited and the attackers only managed to access roughly 0.2% of its data.

Gateley admitted that the compromised data included some client information and the firm said it will notify impacted customers. Law enforcement and relevant regulators, including the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), have been notified.

“The impacted data was traced quickly and deleted from the location to which it had been downloaded and there is no evidence currently to suggest that this data has been further disseminated,” the company said in a regulatory news service (RNS) announcement.

DataBreaches.net has speculated that this may have been a ransomware attack and the law firm paid the cybercriminals a ransom to get the stolen data removed from their leak website.

It’s worth noting, however, that the company said in its public notice that it has seen no evidence that its financial performance has been impaired as a result of the incident.

SecurityWeek has reached out to Gateley for additional information, but the company said it has nothing more to share beyond its press release at the moment.

Gateley would not be the first major law firm to be hit by ransomware in the past year. Seyfarth Shaw reported being targeted in a ransomware attack in October 2020.

US-based law firm Jones Day also had some data stolen by cybercriminals known for conducting ransomware attacks, but the incident was related to a vulnerability in a now-retired file transfer service from Accellion and it did not actually involve ransomware.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.