Books are as old as the printing press and as such you might think they are above becoming victims to modern crime, but this week we have learned that cyber criminals have attempted to steal manuscripts and other sensitive author information from Penguin Random House.
This week PRH issued an urgent warning to all staff over a phishing scam that attempted to access manuscripts and other author details. The company sent the email to staff on Wednesday reading “Important: New Phishing Alert” and reads: “We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats.”
It seems the scammers have chosen the beginning of the Frankfurt book fair to attempt to catch staff unawares, prompting PRH to warn staff to be extremely careful about confidential information and manuscripts.
According to a report in The Bookseller, it’s not only PRH who have been affected as Pan Macmillan, and Faber also report attempted thefts.
While cyber criminals have targeted publishing houses previously it’s been for sensitive information, the attempted theft of manuscripts is a new development and shows the potential value of unreleased bestsellers in the age of digital reading.