Tag Archives: cyberattack

What the Recent Cyberattack Means and Ways Businesses Can Protect Themselves

The unprecedented cyberattack on October 21, 2016, which crippled many of the Internet’s most widely trafficked sites, should be a wakeup call for businesses about the potential for hackers to weaponize common Internet-enabled devices and cripple businesses.

What Happened?

The cyberattack was caused in part by malware directed to more than 10 million Internet-connected devices, including DVRs, thermostats and closed-circuit video cameras. It caused a distributed denial-of-service attack (i.e., service interruption) that hit in three waves. Dyn, an Internet services company that directs Internet traffic, reported that the attack hit all of its 18 data centers globally. Early reports show that the disruption may be responsible for up to $110 million in lost revenue and sales. Perhaps most troubling is that the group claiming responsibility said the attack is merely a dry run for much larger attacks.

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Cyberwar Happening Here and Now?

Conflict has unfortunately been part of the human experience for thousands of years. In prehistoric times, rocks, sticks, and bones were some of the weapons of choice. Over time, humans became more sophisticated, utilizing knives, swords, bows and arrows, and eventually guns and cannons. Recent developments include nuclear threats and drone strikes.

There has been concern, rightly, that the Internet might provide a further means for waging war or dismantling the means of waging war by others. For example, a few years ago, Stuxnet, a computer worm, reportedly was launched by a U.S. and Israeli intelligence operation to attack and cause the tearing apart of programmable logic controllers of certain Iranian centrifuges that were designed for potential nuclear purposes. Continue reading Cyberwar Happening Here and Now?

When Does Cybercrime Become Internet Warfare?

Since the beginning of time, unfortunately, some people have been intent on causing harm to others for their own benefit. This, of course, has been true with respect to Internet conduct. Indeed, we now live in a world in which the “black hats” are actively hacking and causing other problems in cyberspace, while the “white hats” are trying to combat these efforts.

Cybercrime is not confined within the borders of sovereign states. What happens on the Internet goes beyond national borders. After all, we are dealing with the World Wide Web. Accordingly, cybercrime has international implications.

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Is Cyberwar Happening Right Now in Ukraine?

This blog recently discussed whether international mechanisms exist to award damages caused by potential cyberwars. And now it appears that a cyberwar actually is taking place with respect to Ukraine.

Press accounts have been rampant in terms of the turmoil over Crimea, Russia, and Ukraine. And while there have been possible threats of physical force, there also have been reports of disruption of mobile communications as a result of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that 42 cyberattacks hit Ukrainian government websites during Crimea’s vote to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. On top of that, there reportedly has been defacement of some Ukrainian state-run news websites and social media outlets, with pro-Russian propaganda replacing their original content.

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The Price Tag for Cyber Crime Continues to Increase

Cyber crime is not new. And despite grappling with it now for years, the cost of cyber crime continues to increase. This has been made plain by the 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study by the Ponemon Institute that was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

What do we learn from this study? Well, for starters, the annual cost of cyber crime is a staggering $11.56 million per U.S. organization. This represents a 26 percent increase from the $8.9 million figure from last year.

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Lawyers Must Do More To Protect Cybersecurity

Lawyers should know how to protect information belonging to their firms and their clients, right? Well, perhaps they can do a better job, according to The Wall Street Journal. Indeed, it’s now more important than ever for lawyers’ cybersecurity skills to get up to speed.

According to the article, hackers intent on insider trading may target attorneys who handle merger and acquisition transactions. They could put links in text messages that, when clicked on smartphones, activate malware that could log keystrokes and record phone conversations.

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