Lightfoot, Franklin & White notifies clients of ransomware incident

Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC is a law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama that handles commercial litigation, product liability, professional liability, white-collar criminal, and other legal matters.

In a copy of a notification obtained by, they forthrightly informed affected clients that there had been a ransomware incident:

On April 17, 2021, we learned of and stopped a ransomware incident that resulted in unlawful access by an unauthorized third party to certain clients’ case files containing personal information for individuals who may have been related to the case, including plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, and other non-parties. Your
information was contained in one of  those files.

Your personal information that was potentially exposed may have included your Social Security number and other government-issued identification, as well as health and medical information. Currently, we have no indication that any of your personal information has been or will be misused in connection with this incident.

While the firm was forthright in identifying the incident as a ransomware attack, they were not as direct in addressing the ransom aspect:

Upon discovering this incident, we took immediate steps to contain the incident, engaged outside consultants to conduct an investigation, and notified law enforcement. To take all possible steps to protect your information against disclosure or misuse by the unauthorized third party, we reached a resolution and have received confirmation from the third party that the compromised information was destroyed.

So they paid ransom and criminals pinky swore that they would destroy the data?  Of course, the threat actors cannot be trusted to keep their word and the law firm is notifying 6,145 clients whose data had been accessed or acquired by the threat actors.  The firm has also arranged to have searches of the dark web for the data and offered mitigation services to those affected.

The firm does not indicate who the threat actors were or how much ransom they paid. One could argue that the affected clients don’t really need to know the answers to those questions because the firm has taken steps to protect them now and in the immediate future. But it is puzzling that the firm didn’t inform them straight up that they paid ransom.

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