Travelex hackers hit celebrity law firm with ransomware

"Ransomware" text within binary code

The website for a New York law firm with a large celebrity clientele has been down for almost a week after it was hit with a ransomware attack.

The group claiming responsibility for the attack used the ransomware strain known as Sodinokibi, sometimes also referred to as REvil, the same strain used to take down the Travelex website at the start of the year.

Its latest victim is entertainment and media law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas and Sacks. The attackers claims to have compromised 756GB of data including contracts and personal emails and it's threatening to release the sensitive information in nine instalments.

Data for stars such as Madonna, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen are reported to be included in the hack, which Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks confirmed on Friday.

"We can confirm that we've been victimised by a cyberattack," the firm said in a statement to Variety. "We have notified our clients and our staff. We have hired the world's experts who specialise in this area, and we are working around the clock to address these matters."

The company's website was still down on Wednesday, with just the firm's logo on display, and it is unknown what the hacker's demands are and whether they have been negotiated. The damage to the Travelex website kept it offline for weeks and reportedly cost the firm £25 million.

"This breach appears to be a surgical strike against Grubman, knowing they represent many of the biggest celebrities in the world," said Sam Curry, CSO at Cybereason.


IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network


"Today, its no longer a matter of if, but when a breach will occur. Every company has been hacked, most many times over, and it comes down to how quickly a company identifies malicious activity and stops it. In the case of Grubman and their large list of A list celebrities, most if not all of them are sweating out the current situation and hoping the damage will be minimal."

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.