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Cyber_Bytes - Issue 27

14 December 2020. Published by Richard Breavington, Partner and Rachel Ford, Senior Associate and Ridvan Canbilen, Associate

Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

RPC's Cyber Team peer-reviews leading AI research paper

A paper on emerging cyber threats has been peer-reviewed by RPC's cyber law team and published in an international legal journal. Alex Matheson, the cyber team's latest addition, was invited to conduct the peer-review of the paper on the legal and cyber-security implications of advances in 'adversarial machine learning', which is a fast-developing sub-field of the field of artificial intelligence (AI) with the twist that it can exploit the technology for malicious outcomes.  

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 Major growth predicted for the global cyber insurance market

Research by Verified Market Research has predicted a 24% increase in the global cyber insurance market, equivalent to an estimated $32bn. The growth follows the surge in mandatory legislation and increasingly prevalent high-profile ransomware attacks. The rise in data privacy laws have also been a key factor.

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Extortion as the new cyber threat predicted for 2021

New data suggests that whilst ransomware continues to be the most damaging cyber security threat predicted for 2021, there has been an increase in the collection of sensitive data as a means to extort companies for money. This is already something we are seeing more commonly in the context of a ransomware attack, but it appears that the extortion techniques could be deployed by cybercriminal even where ransomware is not implemented. 

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Cyber Security threats to e-commerce

Three key threats to retailers in protecting consumer information and data have been highlighted: 1) Magecart / E-skimming: an attack where malware infects checkout pages to steal payment and personal information of online shoppers 2) Third-party vendors: whilst they are often used to support retailers, they can open retailers up to possible threats 3) Open-source software: software that anyone can view or modify which, whilst providing transparency and opportunity for continued improvement, provides a new set of vulnerabilities.

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Cyber Attack on Council

A cyber-attack on Hackney Council's systems have affected processes around planning decisions. The attack has left many of the council-provided services paralysed for an indefinite amount of time, including the Council's ability to notify members of the public about planning decisions. There has been a temporary suspension of the Council’s obligation to make such notifications as a result, potentially opening the council up to legal challenge. 

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