News & Analysis as of

Naughty Secrets – Findings in the Ashley Madison Breach

A quote attributed to FBI Director Robert Mueller is, “There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be”. The assessment of the Ashley Madison cyber-attack has lessons for all...more

IPRs Threatened/Filed as Money-Making Strategy

On March 10, 2016, Silver Star Capital, LLC filed a petition for Inter Partes Review of U.S. Patent No. 6,212,079 (IPR2016-00736). The patent owner is Power Integrations, Inc. On its face, this seems like another IPR filed...more

Symantec releases “Ransomware and Businesses” report

Symantec Corp released its annual “Ransomware and Businesses” report this week outlining the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks. Individuals continue to be the primary target of ransomware attacks as they usually...more

Supreme Court Narrows Interpretation Of Federal Corruption Statute

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, narrowing the definition of an “official act” in federal corruption cases. McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474 (2016)....more

FBI reports $3.1 billion lost by businesses through “business email compromise”

Wire fraud crime has long been a problem for financial institutions and banks. However, wire fraud through email is a completely different beast. Originally characterized by law enforcement as an extension of traditional wire...more

First home cyber protection insurance offered by Hartford Steam Boiler

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company has announced that it is offering “the first personal lines cyber insurance program for consumers, protecting against computer attacks, cyber extortion, online fraud...more

Your Organization is Impacted by Ransomware - Now What?

Some forms of cyber extortion are automated and not targeted at any specific victim. For example, “ransomware” refers to a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their systems unless, and until, a ransom is paid....more

How to Respond to a Cyber Extortion Demand

Cyber extortion refers to a situation in which a third party threatens that if an organization does not pay money, or take a certain action, the third party will take an adverse action against the organization. Among other...more

Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense - June 2016

Eye on the Supreme Court—Corruption and Fraud Edition - Why it matters: This session, the Supreme Court has undertaken the review of numerous cases that raise thorny issues arising in the white collar context. In our...more

Ransomware: Electronic Extortion for a Digital Era

Last month, the FBI asked the American Bar Association to share a cyberalert with its members warning of an increased risk of ransomware. Ransomware poses significant legal and operational risks to businesses. Personnel at...more

Data Privacy Considerations for Starting or Evaluating a Bounty Program

Data security officers typically look for security risks by monitoring reports from automated security systems, listening to employees’ reports of security issues, and/or auditing IT systems. There is a great deal of debate,...more

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame?” Asked the Inspector: Saying “Yes” May Now Be a Federal Crime

Imagine this hypothetical: A local fire marshal says to Mary Jones, who runs the residence halls at a major university, “It must be nice having seats at the Saturday football games.” Mary gets the message and thinks that if...more

The Scariest Hack So Far

Hackers have upped the ante. Data controllers wax fondly about the good old days when data was outright stolen. Back then, in 2013, there was a sense of fair play. Trolls did troll things. Assuming the victim implemented and...more

FBI’s cyber most wanted: Spotlight on Firas Dardar and Ahmed Agha

New additions to the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted List show “the line between ordinary criminal hackers and potential national security threats is increasingly blurry,” according to Assistant Attorney General for National...more

Cyber prosecutions update

The feds have been busy on the cyber prosecutions front. First, on March 18, 2016, the FBI announced that a multi-agency collaborative effort blew up an identity theft ring whose leader was an inmate in a Georgia prison. The...more

Companies can insure against cyber ransom

National Public Radio and other news outlets are reporting that a Los Angeles-area hospital recently paid a $17,000 ransom (in the form of 40 bitcoins) to hackers to unencrypt its computer networks, which had been held...more

Financial Institutions Council Publishes Statement On Hacker Extortion

Amid the recent increase in hacker extortion cases, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) issued a statement on November 3 (the “Statement”) describing steps financial institutions should take to...more

FFIEC Warns of Increase in Cyber Attacks Involving Extortion, Encourages Financial Institutions to Develop Response Programs

Last week, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued a joint statement warning of an “increasing frequency and severity of cyber attacks involving extortion.” The statement warned that criminals...more

Purchasing Cyber Insurance? Important Considerations from the Recent Nossaman/ UCI Cyber Symposium

On October 12, 2015, Nossaman and UC Irvine hosted a Cyber Symposium at the City Club in Los Angeles. The event included four panels of Nossaman lawyers, UCI professors, and private professionals who are experts in the areas...more

Ferrum Ferro Capital Files Motion to Strike Allergan's Complaint Alleging Misuse of IPR Process

In June, Allergan, Inc. and Allergan Sales, LLC filed suit against Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC and Kevin Barnes ("FFC") in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that FFC attempted to extort...more

Political Logrolling Approved by Seventh Circuit

It has been a banner season for politically important public corruption rulings. Two weeks ago the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion upholding the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Now the Seventh Circuit...more

Public Officials Face Greater Scrutiny in Wake of McDonnell Decision

Governor McDonnell’s attorneys put it this way: The Governor’s acts weren’t “official” because “none were any more remarkable than acts that governors unthinkingly take hundreds of times weekly for countless constituents,...more

Allergan Fights Back, Files Complaint Against Venture Fund That Filed IPR Petition

Last month, Allergan, Inc. and Allergan Sales, LLC filed suit against Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC and Kevin Barnes ("FFC") in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that FFC attempted to extort...more

Lines Crossed: From Enforcing to Breaking the Law

Silk Road was a notorious black market for narcotics that used seemingly untraceable digital currencies (i.e., Bitcoins) to facilitate illegal activities on the “dark web.” Last week, former Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”)...more

Structuring Trips Up Speaker Hastert

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Dennis Hastert entered the well of a courtroom in the Northern District of Illinois earlier this week to enter a plea of not guilty to charges that he structured...more

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