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Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks

In May, 2020 Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, a media and entertainment law firm, was breached and 756 GB of data were stolen. The data breach is connected with leak of private information on multiple celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Ella Mai, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Cam Newton, Bette Midler, Jessica Simpson, Priyanka Chopra, Idina Menzel and others.

According to Page Six’s source, Grubman’s “firm has sensitive details on everything — work contracts, confidential settlements and endorsement deals for the biggest stars in New York and Hollywood”.

“We can confirm that we’ve been victimised by a cyber-attack. 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.”

Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks

Hackers demanded ransom in the amount of $21 million, followed by the raise to $42 million. Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks refused to pay the ransom. In order to investigate the data breach, the law firm cooperates with with law enforcement officials, including the FBI. The firm also informed its clients and its staff about the breach.

“The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump”

The criminal group hacked Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks

The criminal group “Sodinokibi” used REvil ransomware, according to Emsisoft. They are believed to be based in Eastern Europe In order to prove possession of the data, the hackers shared 169 emails from the law firm’s accounts. Among them are screenshots of various folders, a non-disclosure agreement, Madonna’s 2019-2020 tour arrangements, and Aguilera’s music rights. Business insider points out other documents include correspondence, fundraising letters, and invitations to the Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.

Lady Gaga data exposed

As the law firm refused to pay ransom, hackers published the “first part of the data because the time is up”. This 2.4 GB folder includes legal work Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks did for Lady Gaga: contracts sent to producers, collaborators, and members of her touring ensemble; promotional agreements; expense sheets; confidentiality agreement forms; performer agreements; reimbursement forms for the artist Jeff Koons; a handful of promotional photos; and reams of tedious paperwork one would expect to find in the database of an entertainment law firm.

Madonna’s data prepared for an auction

Madonna’s data obtained during Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks data breach is being prepared for an auction. Starting price is $1 million. On their dark net site REvil published the rules for the tra saction: “one-handed information, confidentiality of the transaction, we delete our copy of the data, the buyer has the right to do whatever he sees fit with the data received”

Grubman-Shire-Meiselas-Sacks-data-breach
Posting on REvil dark net site related to intent to auction Madonna data

According to bankinfosecurity, the law firm may have had this data breach due to an unpatched Pulse Secure VPN server. With a reference to Bad Packets, an intelligence firm, a domain associated with the Grubman Shire Meiselas and Sacks firm was using an unpatched Pulse Secure VPN server between at least August and October 2019.

Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks’ Full Statement

“Our elections, our government and our personal information are under escalating attacks by foreign cybercriminals. Law firms are not immune from this malicious activity. Despite our substantial investment in state-of-the-art technology security, foreign cyberterrorists have hacked into our network and are demanding $42 million as ransom. We are working directly with federal law enforcement and continue to work around the clock with the world’s leading experts to address this situation.

Our elections, our government and our personal information are under escalating attacks by foreign cybercriminals. Law firms are not immune from this malicious activity. Despite our substantial investment in state-of-the-art technology security, foreign cyberterrorists have hacked into our network and are demanding $42 million as ransom. We are working directly with federal law enforcement and continue to work around the clock with the world’s leading experts to address this situation.

The leaking of our clients’ documents is a despicable and illegal attack by these foreign cyberterrorists who make their living attempting to extort high-profile U.S. companies, government entities, entertainers, politicians, and others. Previously, the United States Department of Defense, HBO, Goldman Sachs, as well as numerous state and local governments have been victims of similar cybercriminal attacks.

We have been informed by the experts and the FBI that negotiating with or paying ransom to terrorists is a violation of federal criminal law. Even when enormous ransoms have been paid, the criminals often leak the documents anyway.

We are grateful to our clients for their overwhelming support and for recognizing that nobody is safe from cyberterrorism today. We continue to represent our clients with the utmost professionalism worthy of their elite stature, exercising the quality, integrity, and excellence that have made us the number-one entertainment and media law firm in the world.

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