April Cyber update from the Office of Rob Kleeger

Apr 26, 2023 6:51 pm


I hope you are enjoying the spring weather, change of seasons, blooming flowers and trees. I finally found a use for the overstock of masks I purchased over the past 2 years when using the leafblower to get rid of the pollen, fallin dead flowers, etc... Also, a reminder that Spring is the Perfect Season for a Digital Declutter.

  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists or Delete accounts you no longer use. 
  • Cleaning up your email boxes and removing those items containing sensitive information in the event of a compromise
  • Make sure your devices have the most recent software updates installed
  • Clear your cookies and browsing history on a regular basis.

All the best,

Rob Kleeger


Words of Wisdom:

“Listening was the most important thing I accomplished each day because it would build the foundation of my leadership for years to come.”

- Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft



NY attorney general forces spyware vendor to alert victims

“Snooping on a partner and tracking their cell phone without their knowledge isn’t just a sign of an unhealthy relationship, it is against the law,” NY Attorney General Letitia James said. Spyware apps identified by New York officials as spyware in court documents include Auto Forward, Easy Spy, DDI Utilities, Highster Mobile, PhoneSpector, Surepoint, and TurboSpy. All these were promoted as tools to spy on spouses or partners without their awareness.

Patrick Hinchy was fined $410,000 for misleading customers into thinking mobile apps he was advertising on the web were legal to use. These apps were allowing abusers to track the location and communication of partners and spouses without their knowledge – an action that violates numerous state and federal laws. In addition to the fine, Hinchy will have to modify all spyware apps to alert device owners that their devices are being monitored without their consent or knowledge. This will inevitably diminish the primary value of Hinchy’s apps.

“The software products sold by Hinchy’s companies allowed users to secretly monitor activity on another device, including call logs, text messages, photos and videos, location, Gmail activity, WhatsApp and Skype messages, social media activity, and browsing history,” the press release said.

Malware-Free Cyberattacks Are On the Rise

At RSA CONFERENCE 2023 – San Francisco, it was stated that last year, 71% of enterprise breaches were pulled off quietly. In fact, according to CrowdStrike CEO Jeff Hurtz and president Michael Sentonas, 71% of enterprise cyberattacks in the calendar year 2022 were done without malware.

The "Spider" cybercrime group is a perfect example of the phenomenon. First, Spider initiates an in-depth intelligence-gathering effort. Once they had a specific user in their sights, Spider initiates a voice call informing the user their credentials had been compromised. Victims are then sent a malicious link and prompted to enter not just their login details, but also their multifactor authentication (MFA) data. Once the user is tricked into handing those over, Spider is off and running. Spider then uses the user's credentials to set up an AnyDesk account controlled by the cyberattackers. AnyDesk remains a popular remote desktop tool among threat actors, Spider also uses dedicated machines that hide their identity, and run their code on hardware as much as possible to avoid detection. The Spider attack ends with the persistent actor set up with their own users on the network, free and able to exfiltrate data at will. And if the threat actor can get into the on-premises network, the cloud is likely going to sync and become compromised as well.



Simmons et al v. USI Insurance Services LLC et al (Hillsborough County Circuit Civil, 23-CA-000665)

A federal judge ordered five former USI Insurance Services LLC brokers who left to join rival Lockton Cos. LLC recently to honor the nonsolicitation and nondisclosure clauses in their employment agreements. After the broker team left USI, about 20 clients contacted the brokerage saying they were moving their business to Lockton and then sued USI seeking a ruling that the restrictions in the agreements were illegal and unenforceable when they left the brokerage.

The ruling stated that Mr. Simmons, the leader of the team that joined Lockton, had signed an employment agreement restricting him for two years from soliciting or attempting to solicit USI clients he worked with or had information about, among other things, and to serve a 60-day notice period if he left the brokerage and the other brokers also agreed to restrictive covenants, court papers say.

The court ruled, though, that: “Florida courts have held that an employer has a legitimate business interest in its substantial relationships with specific prospective or existing customers even when an employee brings customers to the employer on the basis of existing personal relationships.”

McCormick & Co. v. Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., No. JKB-22-0115 (D. Md. March 08, 2023)

In this case, involving claims relating to breach of contract where complaints by each party were consolidated for discovery purposes, the parties agreed to an ESI Protocol. The ESI Protocol provided, under a subsection titled “No Presumption of Responsiveness,” that “a party’s obligation to conduct a reasonable search for documents in response to discovery requests shall be deemed to be satisfied by reviewing documents that are captured by utilizing the methodology provided for in this Protocol” and that “[t]he fact that a document is captured by a search pursuant to this protocol does not mean that such document is responsive to a discovery request or otherwise relevant to this litigation and Parties may exclude such nonresponsive documents from production.”

Maryland District Judge James K. Bredar overruled McCormick’s objections to a magistrate judge’s ruling which determined that document review was required by the ESI Protocol agreed to by the parties and rejected McCormick’s argument that the costs associated with such manual review was not proportional to the case.

Individual Lawyers—Not Firms—Must Pay Discovery Sanctions!

Rule 37 authorizes sanctions against individual attorneys, but not their firms

I recently saw an article posted on the ABA website which describes a Sixth Circuit decision, NPF Franchising, LLC v. SY Dawgs LLC, No. 21-3516 (June 15, 2022), holding that individual attorneys – not their law firms – were jointly and severally liable for discovery sanctions. The opinion states that the Court was “asked to review a ‘foul ball’ in discovery.”



Online Banking Safety

  • Use a unique password and login details: Make sure your banking login details are different from your other online portals or services
  • Keep login details safe: Do not give your online banking login details to anyone.
  • Update apps: Ensure your device’s operating system is up-to-date.
  • Be wary of suspicious emails: Cybercriminals may send you a convincing-looking email with your bank’s logo and a professional-looking layout.
  • Check your banking app frequently: Frequently check your online bank for peculiar activities and alert your bank of any transactions that you don’t recognize. 
  • Trust your gut: Ultimately, if something doesn’t feel quite right as you’re transferring a payment or entering sensitive details, trust your gut and don’t continue. 



Digital4nx Group provides a blend of legal and technology services where we systematically identify, preserve, extract, analyze, and interpret digital evidence.

Our services are commonly used to:

  • React and respond by providing litigation support services for plaintiffs or defendants, as well as providing expert testimony and consulting, both in and out of court.
  • Proactively identify and provide insights on how to better secure your confidential data, technology, and compliance.


Cyber Security Services

Cyber incidents can be damaging to an organization, both in the short and long term. Digital4nx Group ​helps business leaders protect their “crown jewels” through reasonable, defensible, and cost-effective​ ​services... Before, During, and After a Data Incident! We offer a multi-disciplined approach to cyber services such as: