Cyber_Bytes - Issue 36
We are back following a break and hope you enjoy this latest edition of Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.
The High Court decision in Rolfe and others v Veale Wasbrough Vizards  EWHC (QB)
This High Court decision is a helpful development in data protection claims, showing a willingness of the Court to acknowledge the existence of a de minimis level of distress and/or damages for a data claim to be successfully litigated.
The Defendant successfully applied for summary judgment in circumstances where the Defendant had inadvertently sent an email containing relatively anodyne personal data (including names, a home address, and an invoice for school fees). Given the very limited amount of personal data involved, combined with the fact that the mistake was addressed promptly and only accessible by one individual, the judge stated the Claimants did not present a credible case that distress or damage over a de minimis threshold will be proved. As a result, there was no viable claim.
Click here to read more.
Governments turn tables on ransomware gang REvil by pushing it offline
Following a number of high-profile ransomware attacks against US companies, US law enforcement and intelligence personnel have forced the Revil ransomware group offline by shutting down it's "Happy Blog" website, which is used to leak victim data and extort companies.
This signifies a shift in attitude from the US Government, which is actively trying to disrupt criminal groups to try to prevent companies from falling victim to ransomware gangs. With REvil being such a prevalent cybercriminal group responsible for highly disruptive attacks, such as that carried out on the software vendor Kaseya, they were seen as the primary target by the US Government. This sends a clear message to other ransomware gangs that the US Government is now actively pursuing cybercriminals and moving forward on efforts to disrupt some of the top ransomware gangs.
Click here to read a Reuters article providing more detail.
Conti Ransom Gang Starts Selling Access to Victims
Conti have recently indicated that they intend to start selling access to the networks of victim organisations in circumstances where the victim does not pay their ransom demands. It is currently unclear as to why Conti have made these changes to their 'business plan'. It may be a further ploy to bring victim companies to the negotiating table or Conti could simply be aligning its operations with competing ransomware affiliate programs run by competitors.
For a reliably informative article from Krebs on Security, click here.
SRA approves PII clause clarifying cybercrime cover
The SRA, working closely with the Law Society, have approved a new cybercrime clause which must be included within the minimum terms and conditions of law firms' professional indemnity insurance policies. The clause will explicitly mention cover for cybercrime and specify what losses fall within the scope of a potential claim.
The new clause was deemed necessary as law firms can be seen as attractive targets for cyber criminals. It is hoped that having a clause specifically dedicated to cybercrime will provide clarity to consumers, law firms and insurers alike, as to what losses will fall within the scope of a potential claim in the event of a cyber-attack. Subject to final approval from the Legal Services Board, the new clause is expected to be in place for renewals from early next year.
The full Law Society Gazette article is available here.
Britain Wants to Use Its New Cyber Command to 'Hunt' Ransomware Gangs
Over the last few years, the UK has seen a significant increase in the number of ransomware attacks being carried out by cybercriminals. Its previous approach to dealing with these attacks has arguably been reactive rather than proactive. However, in an attempt to combat cybercrime, the UK Government is said to be changing its tactics, focusing on actively and openly pursuing cybercriminals through its new unified command, the National Cyber Force. This new approach follows the US Government's recent take down of criminal group REvil (discussed above) and signifies a change of attitude by the UK Government in an attempt to crack down on the cyber criminals and curtail future attacks before they happen.
Click here to read an article from Gizmodo providing more detail.