Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Panama Papers-style leak may follow breach of offshore law firm Appleby

An offshore law firm representing wealthy clientele suffered a data breach earlier this year that reportedly is preparing for its sensitive financial information to be publicly leaked, in an incident similar to the 2015 Panama Papers case.

According to a report in the The Telegraph, the exposed information could place a high amount of scrutiny on various tax havens used by the rich.

The Bermuda-based firm, Appleby, said in an online statement that it was recently approached by members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who made unspecified allegations against the company after viewing the exposed documents.

The ICIJ, which operates an Offshore Leaks Database that reveals corporate tax haven secrets, is known for publishing the Panama Papers, a trove of 11.5 million leaked documents -- detailing private offshore business dealings -- that were stolen following a breach of the law firm Mossack Fonseca.

In its statement, Appleby acknowledged the breach, but denied any illegal activity on the part of the law firm or its clients.

"Appleby has thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations and we are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients," the statement reads. "We refute any allegations which may suggest otherwise and we would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorised investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities."

"We are disappointed that the media may choose to use information which could have emanated from material obtained illegally and that this may result in exposing innocent parties to data protection breaches," continues Appleby, adding that it reviewed its cybersecurity and data access arrangements and is confident that its data integrity is secure."

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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