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What Are the Top Cybercrime Threats for 2023?

Wells Howard Anderson, Jordan Lee Couch, and Ashley Hallene


  • Top cybercrime threats are phishing, business email compromise, ransomware, and data theft.
  • Is Google still the best search engine?
  • How to search for unclaimed funds for myself or for my client.
What Are the Top Cybercrime Threats for 2023?
Flavio Coelho via Getty Images

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Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer a reader's question about the top cybercrime threats for 2023, whether Google is still the best search engine, and how to search for unclaimed funds for yourself or your client.

Q: What Are the Top Cybercrime Threats I Should Be Aware of in 2023?

A: While the major players in the field of cybercrime are familiar, they have upped their game going into 2023.


Phishing attacks are becoming more deceptive. Earlier phishing emails tended to be very short and alarming, causing some people to impulsively open the “important” email attachment. They often contained spelling or grammar errors. But now the phishers are using more devious approaches, disguising their poisoned emails as messages from OneDrive, Dropbox, Microsoft, and others, complete with copied logos and formatting.

Business Email Compromise

Business email compromise (BEC) can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. It can start as a phishing variant when you click a link in a cleverly worded email, often directly from the real email account of someone or some company you know. Alternatively, your email password may be compromised by a data breach, especially if it is one you reuse. BEC fraudsters may use social engineering to compromise your email account, tricking someone in your office into giving out a password or respond to an “urgent” fraudulent email.

BEC can cause you deep embarrassment. The attacker can spam your entire collection of email addresses in your Outlook 365 account, exposing your business associates to infection and theft.


Ransomware has been plaguing computerdom for years. Now it is evolving ever more sophisticated attack strategies. Brilliant criminal minds keep finding new hiding places in our computer systems and exploiting surprisingly obscure defects in our server and productivity software. They also have developed sophisticated malware that seeks and destroys our local backups, taking away plan B for those who don’t have isolated, up-to-date backups of everything important.

Data Theft

Data theft rides on the back of ransomware. The crooks know that some of us will have good backups, so they steal our entire electronic collection of files through a variety of devious means. Then they publish ten percent of the files on the Internet as proof. If you don’t pay the ransom, they will publish or sell the rest of your data. The criminals use a variety of exfiltration methods to steal the files from your computer, disguising the uploads as normal file transfers, emails, posts, and even DNS (domain name system) requests.

The Good News

Each of these attacks—phishing, BEC, ransomware, and data theft—carries high costs in terms of lost time, embarrassment, investigation expenses, and expert fees to make the best of bad situations. Fortunately, cybersecurity defenders are evolving better defenses right along with advances made by cybercriminals.

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and CEO of SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120,—we protect small firms from cyber threats with affordable, multiple layers of defense.

Q: Is Google Still the Best Search Engine?

A: Google is the default. It’s synonymous with Internet search because of the way it revolutionized how we interact with the web and how we answer questions, find information, and shop. But a lot has changed since Google soared to dominance, and it’s time to ask, is it still the best option? Short answer: no. Over the years, Google has prioritized monetization. This meant increasing ads, grabbing (sometimes incorrect) information from the content of other web pages, and emphasizing results that sell to you, the consumer. It’s still better than Bing, according to most, but if your goal is research (unrelated to shopping), Google just isn’t as good as it used to be. The good news is there are some really great alternatives. I can’t go over all of them here, but I can mention two of my favorites. DuckDuckGo is perfect for those of you who are privacy- and security-minded. What makes DuckDuckGo stand out is that, unlike most search engines, it doesn’t collect your data and sell it to third parties. Ecosia is my personal favorite, and I have set it as my default. Ecosia offers great search results while offering a way to support sustainable reforestation. Every 40-ish searches you do leads to a tree being planted in an area that needs it.

Techie: Jordan L. Couch, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and partner at Palace Law LLP ([email protected]).

Q: How Do I Go about Searching for Unclaimed Funds for Myself or My Client?

A: According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), it is estimated that one out of ten people may have unclaimed property. This usually happens when money is deposited with a business (or owed by a government agency) that goes unclaimed for a period of time. Those funds are usually escheated to the state after a designated time has lapsed. There are a handful of web resources you can check to see if you, clients, or loved ones have unclaimed property. You can start at Here you can find a link to the unclaimed funds registry in your state (don’t forget to check any other states you may have lived in for a time.). You can also check out, a site that aims to provide a national database to search for unclaimed property. If you find property that is owed to you, the individual state sites will lay out the steps you need to take to claim it.

Techie: Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]).

What’s YOUR question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Jordan L. Couch, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Patrick Palace. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!