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Cyber attack hits law firm that sued China

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A law firm that filed a lawsuit against the Chinese government says it was hit by a cyber attack that looks strikingly similar to one that targeted Google, Adobe Systems, and 32 other large companies.

On Monday, Attorneys at Gipson Hoffman & Pancione began receiving trojan-laced emails made to appear as if they were sent by other members of the firm, according to a release. The emails, at least some of which originated in China, attempted to trick the target in to clicking on a link or attachment," Information Week reported.

Last week, the Los Angeles-based firm said it sued the People's Republic of China and two Chinese software developers over allegations the Green Dam Youth Escort monitoring program lifted code from web-filtering software made by Cybersitter.

The attacks follow Google's startling announcement on Tuesday that hackers it believed were acting on behalf of China penetrated the defenses of 34 large companies, including Google and Adobe Systems. Google has pledged to stop honoring the Chinese government's demands to filter search results on Google.cn and has threatened to exit the world's biggest internet market altogether.

At time of writing, Google.cn continued to filter results related to the Tiananmen Square massacre and other topics considered taboo by the Chinese government.

On Thursday, anti-virus maker McAfee said the attackers targeted at least three of the companies by exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer. It's possible they used other exploits as well.

The attacks against Gipson Hoffman & Pancione have been reported to the FBI and members of the House Intelligence Committee. ®

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