Cyber and privacy

Coordinated Attack Holds 22 Municipalities Hostage, Marks Escalating Ransomware Threat

On August 16, a coordinated ransomware attack was launched on 22 city, county and police department offices in Texas, seizing and disabling systems and encrypting data. The collective ransom demanded by what state authorities have described as a “single threat actor” is $2.5 million. While larger municipalities, like Lubbock County, were able to quickly identify…

Unlicensed Greenhouses and Mold Prompt Extensive Recalls and Returns, Showing Cannabis Industry Risk

On August 19, CannTrust Holdings Inc. announced that the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) was returning its entire $2.2 million inventory of CannTrust products. The return is in response to the suspension of CannTrust’s sales and shipments last month, after a Health Canada inspection revealed the company had grown plants in several unlicensed greenhouses. Prior to…

StockX, Poshmark, Capital One Breaches Highlight Data Security Risks

On August 1, TechCrunch reported that online retailer StockX did not reveal that it had suffered a data breach in May that exposed 6.8 million user records. Within days of discovering the breach, StockX emailed users and instructed them to change their passwords following what the company referred to as system updates on its platform,…

License Plate Photos Compromised in US Customs Contractor Cyberattack

The United States has 328 ports of entry. Each day more than 1 million individuals enter or leave the country; their movements and identities are recorded for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to use under a strict data policy that stresses use limitation and information security. Despite the CBP’s stringent precautions, the agency announced…

Study Reveals Two Out of Three Hotels Inadvertently Leak Guests’ Data

On April 10, Symantec released a study showing two-thirds of hotel websites leak guests’ booking details to third-party sites. Marriott International, which experienced a massive data breach in November 2018, was not included in that study. On February 14, the City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Marriott International for that breach that exposed the…

Autonomous Ships Shaping New Coverage Considerations

As the global economy expands and oceans become more crowded, the shipping industry is looking to autonomous ships to reduce accidents, increase efficiencies and cut costs. Last month a Dutch consortium engaged a vessel equipped with collision avoidance technology in 11 test scenarios in the North Sea, and earlier this month the Maritime and Port…

From Motorcycles to Life-Saving Devices, 3D Printing Full of Promise and Risk

Every day, it seems, brings news of another milestone achieved thanks to 3D printing. Just last month doctors at Penn State Children’s Hospital surgically implanted a 3D-printed esophageal “splint” in 13-month-old Ramiah Martin, who was born without a trachea and with a malformed esophagus. Digital manufacturer Carbon and football helmet designer Riddell recently announced plans…

Vulnerability of Cryptocurrencies a Threat to Businesses

Retailers are increasingly accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for goods and services, but the volatile nature of the currency puts these businesses at risk. The fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could lead to overnight double-digit increases or decreases in currency value. Bitcoin, the most popular and widely used type of cryptocurrency, saw…

Insuring Santa Claus

From his bustling workshop to his nine loyal reindeer, Santa Claus operates one of the most complex enterprises in the world. That level of global intricacy requires an expert review of risk management strategies. “There are a number of insurance products that I would think Santa would have in place,” said Chris Zoidis, Corporate Executive…

Amazon Echo’s Role in Murder Investigation Shows Vulnerability of Connected World

Security threats to your personal information or corporate systems are everywhere – even from your smart speaker, fitness tracking bracelet or video game console. Any tech device connected to the internet or an external system could be an entryway for hackers. Many of these devices can also record private conversations that could be revealed in…