Cyber Crimes

News & Analysis as of

Studies Show Ransomware up 6,000% and Reaps Billions and Phishing Emails are Used in 91% of all Cyber-Attacks

A recent IBM study shows that ransomware increased 6,000 percent in 2016 over 2015. According to the report, ransomware was present in almost 40 percent of all spam email messages....more

No More Ransom Project Expands Membership and Tools

The No More Ransom Project, a coalition of security companies and law enforcement, which was launched through a partnership with the European Cybercrime Centre, the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands police,...more

Privacy Tip #69 – Hit with Ransomware? To Pay or Not to Pay

Every day I get a call from a client asking for help involving ransomware. Friends have called in a panic when that dreadful message comes up on the screen informing you that you are the victim of ransomware with instructions...more

How Should We Think About Cyber War, Where Rules Remain to be Written?

The recent hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the United States’ subsequent decision to impose retaliatory sanctions against Russia poses an important question: what does international law have to say about...more

Obama Uses Executive Order Authority to Respond to Malicious Russian Cyber Activity - President Amends EO 13964 From April 2015 in...

President Barack Obama amended Executive Order (EO) 13964 on December 29, 2016, in response to intelligence community findings that the Russian government engaged in malicious cyber activity with respect to the U.S. electoral...more

Three Chinese Citizens Charged with Hacking New York Law Firms

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that three Chinese citizens have been charged for attempting to hack into seven law firms that were involved in mergers and acquisitions, in...more

Massachusetts Data Breach Notification History Now Available Online

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) has published an online list of data breach notifications issued each year to Massachusetts residents since 2007, the inception of the...more

Hey! Did You Hear? The United States Imposed Sanctions Against Russia.

For those of us who live and breathe U.S. economic sanctions, we are used to most people largely ignoring what goes on in our world. The United States’ recent imposition of new sanctions against Russia, however, was not one...more

The State of Cybersecurity in 2016 and the (potential) Great Cyber Fire

Cybersecurity hit the news hard in 2016. The number of high profile, and troubling, cyber incidents increased significantly. The Democratic National Committee and one of Clinton’s top advisor’s being hacked, with leaked...more

Cyber-attack on LA County Compromises 756,000 individuals’ information

A Nigerian national has been charged with a cyber-attack on Los Angeles County employees that compromised the personal information of over 756,000 people. The attack took place on May 13, 2016, when the attacker sent a...more

2016 was the Year of the Data Breach

Although every year we lament about the significance of data breaches in the past year, 2016 was by far the worst. Data breaches were rampant, victimizing every industry and numbing consumers in the process. It was so bad...more

Indictment Issued in Law Firm Hacks

In what New York’s top federal prosecutor called a “wake-up call for law firms around the world,” three Chinese citizens have been charged with hacking into the servers of two prominent – but unidentified – international law...more

The Supreme Court’s Broad Interpretation of the Bank Fraud Statute May Provide a Potent Tool in Combatting Cybercrime

The Supreme Court in Shaw v. United States recently held that the federal bank fraud statute does not require that defendants cause, or intend to cause, an actual financial loss to the financial institutions they seek to...more

University of Wisconsin Announces Data Breach of Law School Applicants

Last week, the University of Wisconsin Law School notified 1,213 applicants from 2005-2006 that their names and Social Security numbers were breached back in November. The University discovered that a hacker gained access to...more

Affair Website Ashley Madison Fined $8.75 Million Over Data Breach, Misrepresentations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has entered into a multimillion dollar settlement with the owners and operators of AshleyMadison.com, a dating website for people interested in having discreet affairs, related to the...more

Quest Diagnostics Announces Breach of 34,000 Records

Quest Diagnostics, which operates medical laboratories, has announced that 34,000 customer records were exposed during a hacking incident that occurred on November 26th. The hacker obtained access to the information through...more

Over 3.1 Billion Records Breached So Far in 2016

The tally of records breached in 2016 (through November) globally was over 2.1 billion, according to IT Governance. With the announcement yesterday of Yahoo’s breach of another 1 billion records, that tally is now up to 3.1...more

Ashley Madison Settles with FTC and State AGs for $1.6 Million

We have previously reported on the Ashley Madison data breach and subsequent litigation. On December 14th, Ashley Madison announced that it has agreed to pay $1.6 million and implement additional security measures to settle...more

Yahoo Announces Another Breach of One Billion Accounts

Yahoo Inc. announced on December 14th that hackers stole the personal information of more than one billion users, which is in addition to the 500 million accounts compromised that was announced in September....more

Rule Change Expands Federal Courts’ Search Warrant Power Over Electronic Data

On December 1, 2016, a change to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(b) took effect that allows federal courts to issue broad warrants for access to electronic communications and data. The former version of Rule 41(b)...more

The Future of Standing in Data Breach Class Actions

In today’s world, as technology costs decrease and personal information becomes more valuable on the black market, data breaches have seemingly joined the ranks of death and taxes as certainties. Add to that litigation:...more

Maritime Cybersecurity Inland and Offshore – Avoiding “Paid Spies and Secret Confidential Agents on the Water of the Devil” and...

The past eighteen to twenty-four months have seen a tectonic shift of focus (as well as a plethora of industry-generated white papers) by virtually every governmental regulatory entity, NGO, and industry group in the maritime...more

DOE Issues Proposed Grid Security Emergency Order Procedures in Accordance with FAST Act

On December 7, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued proposed procedures that would govern emergency orders issued by the Secretary of DOE, following the president’s declaration of a Grid Security Emergency. These...more

Phishing as a Service

A recent report from Imperva, Inc. has identified a Phishing as a Service (PhaaS) being offered on a Russian website. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team defines phishing as “an attempt by an individual or...more

HHS Issues Warning About Phishing Campaign Disguised As Official Communication

As part of its efforts to assess compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) engages in audits of covered...more

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