Cyber News and Events

Vera Bradley Reveals Payment-Card Hack at Retail Stores - "Vera Bradley Inc. said Wednesday that payment cards used at its retail stores were potentially hacked over a two-month period this summer. The Fort Wayne, Ind., company, known for its brightly patterned quilted tote bags, said some cards used at Vera Bradley store locations between July 25 and Sept. 23 may have been affected. Cards used online weren’t. A Vera Bradley spokeswoman said the company doesn’t know how many cards were affected." - From The Wall Street Journal


Wendy's reveals hundreds of its restaurants were hacked in payment data breach - "US burger chain Wendy's has revealed that hundreds of the company's restaurants were hacked in late 2015, according to its first quarter earnings report released on 11 May. The company said it was able to "eradicate" malware on point-of-sales systems at about 300 outlets from approximately 5,500 franchised North America restaurants in fall 2015." - From International Business Times

Ransom to be paid by Cheltenham hair salon after cyber attack - "A couple running a Cheltenham hairdressing salon will pay a ransom to get back data stolen by computer hackers. Sara and Stuart Holmes, of the Imperial Square-based Stuart Holmes Salon, discovered their computers have not worked properly since Tuesday lunchtime. This meant the couple has not been able to access their electronic diary to check clients' bookings and access their contact details." - From Gloucestershire Live

Hackers Branching Out to Law Firms
- "Hackers are moving away from a focus on obtaining personally identifiable information and more towards “soft” targets including law firms. Last week there were reports that a Russian criminal, Oleras, has been attempting to hire hackers to break into law firms' computer systems so he can trade on insider information." - From Business Insurance

Hard Times Cafe in Rockville hit with ransomware - "The Rockville location of Hard Times Cafe has been closed since last weekend, after its point of sale and back office computer systems were infected with ransomware. Co-owner Bob Howard wants his patrons to know they are working hard to reopen and hope to be back up and running by Friday night or Saturday. Managers began noticing system problems Saturday night. When the restaurant reopened Sunday, the staff could not access any files and was greeted with a message demanding $10,000, paid by Bitcoin, to release encrypted files." - From WTOP

Personal Data Of Nearly 14,000 LAZ Parking Employees Stolen - "The Social Security numbers and other personal information of nearly 14,000 employees of LAZ Parking across the country were stolen in what federal authorities are calling an emerging Internet scam. The phishing scam targets payroll and human resources offices that mistakenly email payroll data, including W-2 forms, to cybercrimimals posing as company executives, according to the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to identity theft, the information can be used to file fraudulent tax returns."- From Hartford Courant

Top Cyber Threats for 2016 and Next Five Years - "Businesses and organizations should expect cyber criminals to attack through wearable devices, employees’ home systems, cloud services and automobiles within the next year, according cyber experts at Intel’s McAfee Labs. By 2020, individuals could be receiving payment for sharing their personal data and hackers could be manipulating markets in their favor through financial intelligence gathering, the experts also predict. Intel Security has released its McAfee Labs Threat Predictions Report, which offers predictions on the cyber threat landscape in 2016 and insights into what that landscape might look like through 2020. " - From Insurance Journal

6 steps to growing your Cyber insurance base - "Despite the significant risk to organizations of every size in every industry, insurance providers often encounter resistance when introducing the topic of Cyber risk coverage for the first time. Potential buyers, unaware of the true cost of a breach, reject the coverage with responses such as, “Legal or IT says we don't need it,” or “It's our point-of sale-vendor's liability” or “It's unaffordable. Here are best practices to follow when selling Cyber coverage that will eliminate sales friction and ensure their clients recognize the risks they face." - From PropertyCasualty360

Why Agents Should Sell Cyber to the Small Business Segment in 2016 - "Over the last several years, the small business community has accelerated its adoption rate of cyber liability insurance. A nearly constant stream of breaches in the news has certainly raised the public’s general awareness of the threat cyber attacks pose. But the vast majority of small businesses, which we define as those with less than $25 million in annual revenue, still have not purchased cyber coverage."From Insurance Journal

Beyond the Breach - "The old-school protection racket has gone high tech. There’s a whole new crop of criminals threatening businesses — demanding cash in order for the “privilege” of not having their livelihoods destroyed. The bad guys may have ditched the fedoras and spats in favor of hoodies and Chuck Taylors. But the bottom line remains the same. It’s all about the Benjamins. Or maybe the Bitcoins, in this case. Welcome to the new frontier of cyber extortion — the world where a few lines of programming code can take a company hostage — or even shutter it for good. Sure, the “old-fashioned” data breach is alive and well, but it has declined in profitability as the black market for credit card and Social Security data has become oversaturated. The bad guys, meanwhile, went in search of greener pastures. Cyber extortion, in the form of distributed denial of service (DDoS) threats with ransom demands, began grabbing the attention of security professionals several years ago. These attacks are designed to cripple victims’ ability to transact any business online until the ransom is paid." From Risk & Insurance

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions - "Bob Foreman’s architecture firm ran up a $166,000 phone bill in a single weekend last March. But neither Mr. Foreman nor anyone else at his seven-person company was in the office at the time. 'I thought: This is crazy. It must be a mistake,’ Mr. Foreman said. It wasn’t. Hackers had broken into the phone network of the company, Foreman Seeley Fountain Architecture, and routed $166,000 worth of calls from the firm to premium-rate telephone numbers in Gambia, Somalia and the Maldives.” From The New York Times

Cyber Attacks Increasing on Public-Sector and Nonprofit Targets - "Government agencies, cities and counties, and even the Colonial Williamsburg website have faced cyber attacks in recent weeks, underscoring that potential targets go well beyond private businesses, an Insurance Information Institute industry blog reported. The trend shows the growing need for public-sector entities as well as businesses to obtain cyber insurance in what continues to be a fast-evolving problem. Blog writer Claire Wilkinson noted a number of new attacks in recent days. Among the targets: the Florida Standards Assessment testing system; multiple New York City agencies including the mayor’s office; and the city and county computer systems of Madison, Wis." From Carrier Management

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Jason Bucher
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