On December 1st, the Virginia State Bar joined Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida in warning lawyers about an e-mail scam in which lawyers receive e-mails asking them to click on a link to get more information about a bar complaint against them.
Clicking the link could install ransomware that will encrypt the lawyer's files until a ransom is paid, usually in bitcoins.
The e-mails tend to report that a grievance has been filed against the lawyer and that they have ten days to respond. Imagine the temptation to click on a link or attachment to view the complaint.
For my fellow Virginia State Bar members, note that the VSB does not send out disciplinary notices by e-mail. And there are clues that these e-mails are fake. One common one has as its sender "The Office of the State Attorney at com.department.com. The subject is "The Office of the State Attorney Complaint." Even worse is one whose subject is "See you in court". That one may appear to be from a lawyer you know whose account has been hacked. But none of it makes any sense unless you are reading in fear!
If you receive such a message, don't click on anything. The best advice is to delete the e-mail. For those who are fretful, call your state bar to confirm that no disciplinary action is pending and then delete it.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology