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Cyberattack Locky in 2016: "The files were encrypted before our eyes"


Me Leslie Dickstein, a Parisian lawyer, was targeted by Locky ransomware in 2016. She and her partner paid nothing to the hackers. M

The American series "The Good Wife" recounts the tribulations of a lawyer who resumes her professional activity after years of housewife. An episode tells how his prestigious Chicago firm is the victim of a hacking of his data, and forced to pay a ransom to recover it.

In 2016, Me Leslie Dickstein and her partner, two Parisian lawyers specializing in digital and business law, did not miss anything this season 6. "We even joked by imagining what would happen if it happened to us", remembers Mr. Dickstein. A fiction that became reality on October 5, 2016.

It is 6 pm when the lawyers see that the dropbox storing their files is doing its own thing. “There, in front of our eyes, all the files were encrypted. The extensions, whatever they are, are then transformed into .locky, and a message informs that to recover all this material now blocked, it will be necessary to pay a ransom. How much? “We never knew,” explains Mr. Dickstein. From the outset, our IT specialist told us not to pay, that it would be worse. "

The two lawyers manage after several days of computer paralysis to recover the backup of their files that had been made on a hard drive. “In the end, we lost a week of data, and the three office computers that we had to replace. ”Not to mention the stressful days of managing emergencies, preserving confidentiality and justifying postponements of hearings.

Locky ransomware was hidden in an email

A complaint is filed, in which the two partners place little hope. “For a long time, we believed that it was a virus that had destroyed everything, develops Me Dickstein. It was after the fact that we realized that the files were not even viewed by the hackers, but put out of use temporarily. "

After four years without ever having been kept informed of the progress of the procedure, the two lawyers who make up the Cabinet Puzzle discovered a few weeks ago that the investigations were prolific, and that a certain Alexander Vinnik is being prosecuted for having been in the origin of their misfortune. They have just become a civil party through their counsel, Me Grégory Lévy.

"We were far from imagining all that was hidden behind this piracy", breathes Leslie Dickstein, who at the time confided to have felt "very helpless" in the face of this difficult to control threat. The two associates realized, as often in such cases, that they themselves had unintentionally activated the Locky ransomware, concealed in an e-mail sent by an accounting firm, itself hacked.

"A sensitive issue with a telephone operator"

Since then, the two women have redoubled their vigilance. “As soon as an e-mail comes from an unknown source, we open it on our iPhone, which is better secure,” explains the lawyer. And if we judge that the threat is real and imminent, we disconnect the entire installation, which has happened to us three or four times since 2016. ”

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As a lawsuit looms, they are still puzzled to have been targeted. “In particular, we had a sensitive file with a telephone operator,” explains Mr. Dickstein. But we don't believe it's related. "

If she is delighted with the outcome of the investigation, and the important police and judicial work provided, Leslie Dickstein on the other hand keeps with bitterness the memory of a lack of brotherhood on the part of her colleagues. "The lawyer against whom I was to plead the following Monday, when I did not have access to my files, did everything to oppose the referral, she laments. As for the President of the Bar, under whose protection we then asked to be placed, he never answered us. "

Source: leparis

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