Cyber insurance market likely to hit $7.5 billion by 2020

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The cyber insurance market will triple in size to $7.5 billion in annual premiums by 2020, and the insurance industry could face competition from disruptors such as Google if it does not act fast to develop products, a report said. Insurers and reinsurers are charging high prices for cyber coverage and putting a ceiling on potential losses, deterring companies from buying cyber polices, consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers said in the report. Some insurers have kept out of the market, wary of the risks involved. “If the industry takes too long, there is a risk that a disruptor could move in and corner the market by aggressively cutting prices or offering much more favorable terms,” PwC said. Millennials are more likely to trust brands such as Google or Apple than conventional insurers, Paul Delbridge, insurance partner at PwC, said. Source: Reuters

Too many use easy-to-crack passwords

sh_password_280Researchers who have cracked more than 11 million Ashley Madison passwords have released the top 100 choices users of that site picked. The top Ashley Madison passwords are 123456, 12345, password, DEFAULT, 123456789, qwerty, 12345678, abc123 and 1234567.The passwords look like they could have come from just about any site breach published in the past decade. By virtue of being cracked, all the 11.7 million passwords recovered so far were weak. Had they been long, randomly generated strings continuing upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, they’d be among the 3.7 million cryptographic hashes that still haven’t been deciphered. Only 4.6 million of the 11.7 million recovered passwords were unique. Source: Ars Technica

8 Cal State campuses deal with data breach

A data breach at eight Cal State campuses exposed the personal information of nearly 80,000 students enrolled in an online sexual violence prevention course, officials said. The Cal State system had hired the vendor We End Violence to provide the noncredit class on sexual harassment, which is required of all students under state law. Students who took the training with that company had their data hacked. Two other vendors also were providing the classes, but the data of students in those classes were not compromised, said Cal State spokeswoman Toni Molle. Cal State officials said they had few details on how the hack occurred other than there was a “vulnerability in the underlying code.” Cal State has hired a forensics firm to investigate. Source: Los Angeles Times

U.S., China have ‘frank’ talk on cyber issues

sh_US and China_280Senior U.S. and Chinese officials concluded four days of meetings this weekend on cybersecurity and other issues, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington this month, the White House said. Cybersecurity has been a divisive issue between Washington and Beijing, with the United States accusing Chinese hackers of attacks on U.S. computers, a charge China denies. U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice had a “frank and open exchange about cyber issues” in her meeting with Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, the White House said in a statement. The Chinese delegation also had meetings with Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and representatives from the Justice, State and Treasury departments and the intelligence community, the statement said. China’s official Xinhua news agency said that Meng, the country’s domestic security chief, had reached “important consensus” with the United States. Source: Reuters

With iPhone convenience comes privacy issues—again

Apple introduced some smart new camera and Siri features in its new iPhones, but they come with some privacy concerns. The new “Hey Siri” feature, which allows you to activate Siri at any time by saying that phrase, means that the iPhone 6S microphone has to be on at all times. Likewise, the new Live Photos feature, which captures just over a second of video before and after every photo you take, requires that the camera, when active, continually record your audio and video. Both features are able to be deactivated, but to make full use of the phone, it’s expected that you’ll have them on. “In no case is the device recording what the user says or sending that information to Apple before the feature is triggered,” Apple says. Otherwise, it sounds as though the iPhone 6S will only store a few seconds of sound at a time and will continually write over, and therefore, theoretically, delete what has been captured before it. Source: The Verge

That phone call might be monitored

sh_phone surveillance_280Wall Street has a message for its traders: Watch what you say. At large banks in the United States and Europe, traders’ everyday activities are being recorded and monitored more often than ever before. Banks and their regulators have focused on perusing the minutiae of phone conversations traders have each day with colleagues, competitors and customers. Technology and regulatory requirements are making the phone a zone of total surveillance, with conversations constantly recorded and sometimes automatically transcribed for examination. Some bank executives and traders said they have toned down humor or shortened conversations on the phone, while others are increasingly using electronic trading venues that don’t require as much chat. Meanwhile, meeting in person has increased in importance because that’s one of the few means of communication where regulators can’t eavesdrop. Source: Wall Street Journal

When Irish eyes aren’t smiling

Google has refused to remove search results that show the names of newly naturalized Irish citizens in the state’s official gazette, because of the government’s “ongoing choice” to make the information public. Concerns were expressed by a migrant rights body and by digital rights campaigners recently when it revealed the details of thousands of citizens, including their full addresses and whether they are minors or adults, are being published on Iris Oifigiúil. At least one citizen sought a formal decision from the Data Protection Commissioner on the matter. The person told the commissioner they failed to see why, as a naturalized citizen, they would have lesser rights to data protection than those who are citizens by birth. The commissioner has insisted the publication of the information is covered by a 1956 law, and that data protection issues, therefore, don’t arise. Google said the content was being published and provided to search engines “on an ongoing basis by a government body or agency.” Source: Irish Times

Clouds over the sunshine state

sh_for rent_280When Chris Kernan listed a Sarasota, Fla., house for sale, he wound up battling an online rental scam. Someone claiming to be the homeowner swiped Kernan’s photos and information from a real estate website, posted them on Craigslist and began taking email offers to rent the house. “I had at least a dozen people call to show them the house as a rental,” said Kernan, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. He notified Craigslist of the scam, and the post soon was removed. “I thought that was the end of it, but 24 hours later, the guy had a new ad up, and the calls started coming again,” he said. Shannon Wilson, community manager at the Beneva Place Apartments in Sarasota, said she’s dealt with a rash of phony Craigslist ads. Some of the false ads provided a link for potential tenants to click on and fill out an application that asked for birth dates and Social Security numbers. “They were stealing identities,” she said. “The consumers don’t know if that is ours or not.” Source: The Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune