Cyber pirates have found easy prey in real estate brokers, title agents and estate attorneys. Their emails are a treasure trove of information about pending transactions involving large wire transfers. Real estate buyers, eager to close the deal, blindly trust the email they receive and the advisors with whom they correspond.
What do United Airlines and footballer David Beckham have in common? Disastrous leaked emails. In these recent cases, the leaked emails appear to be legitimate, though Beckham claims some of the leaked emails were “doctored.” But how do we know that leaked email messages discussed in news stories and tabloid columns are actually authentic?
…and does it change the result?
Who is responsible for the recent Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) hack and resulting emails published on WikiLeaks? Russian hackers are suspected and the FBI is investigating, but Russia adamantly denies involvement. The hackers could be from the same group who stole DNC’s oppositional research about Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump in mid-June. Perhaps, the perpetrator is simply a DNC employee or subcontractor disenchanted with circumstances that many are now describing as a DNC conspiracy to favor and support its predetermined nominee in the presidential primary – Hillary Clinton – while impeding other candidates such as Bernie Sanders. Whether an angry Bernie Sanders supporter or a foreign government preferring Trump is to blame, the lesson here is once again that if your emails (sent in plain text) contain something of value, they will eventually be exposed.