Coordinated global cyberattack could cause up to $193 billion worth of damage: report

Service-dominated economies, including the US, would suffer more and are vulnerable to higher direct losses, the report said. Above, FBI brochures on combating cybercrime on display during a cybercrime prevention symposium on October 16, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 29 January 2019
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Coordinated global cyberattack could cause up to $193 billion worth of damage: report

  • Insurance claims after such an attack would range from business interruption and cyber extortion to incident response costs
  • Cyberattacks have been in focus after a virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe in 2017

BENGALURU: A coordinated global cyberattack, spread through malicious email, could cause economic damages anywhere between $85 billion and $193 billion, a hypothetical scenario developed as a stress test for risk management showed.
Insurance claims after such an attack would range from business interruption and cyber extortion to incident response costs, the report jointly produced by insurance market Lloyd’s of London and Aon said on Tuesday.
Total claims paid by the insurance sector in this scenario is estimated to be between $10 billion and $27 billion, based on policy limits ranging from $500,000 to $200 million.
The stark difference between insured and economic loss estimates highlights the extent of underinsurance, in case of such an attack, the stress test showed. An attack could affect several sectors globally, with the largest losses in retail, health care, manufacturing and banking fields.
Regional economies that are more service dominated, especially the United States and Europe, would suffer more and are vulnerable to higher direct losses, the report said.
Cyberattacks have been in focus after a virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe in 2017, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and even halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia.
Governments are increasingly warning against the risks private businesses face from such attacks, both those carried out by foreign governments and financially motivated criminals.
For example, Britain’s National Cyber Security Center announced on Friday it was investigating a large-scale Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking campaign that hit governments and commercial organizations across the world.
In another recent incident, French engineering consultancy Altran Technologies was the target of a cyberattack that hit its operations in some European countries.
On a larger scale, personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians and public figures, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, were published online in what appears to be one of Germany’s most far-reaching data breaches.
The report was also co-produced by MSIG, SCOR TransRe and Cyber Risk Management.


Russian arrests of foreign businessmen shocks Western investors

Updated 30 min 44 sec ago
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Russian arrests of foreign businessmen shocks Western investors

  • Baring Vostok's executives were arrested in a case brought with the help of the FSB security service
  • It is just the latest in a long line of cases in which top business people have been accused of crimes motivated by commercial or political interests

MOSCOW: The arrest in Russia of prominent US and French investors on suspicion of fraud has sent shockwaves through Western business circles and sparked fears of cutbacks in foreign investment sorely needed for economic growth.
The founder and employees of the Baring Vostok private equity firm were arrested on Friday in a case brought with the help of the FSB security service.
The arrest took place on the same day Russia hosted leading business people in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for a major economic forum which trumpeted the country’s openness to investment.
Michael Calvey, a US citizen and the founder and director of Baring Vostok, has been placed in pre-trial detention in a Moscow jail for the next two months for alleged fraud, along with five others — including Philippe Delpal, a French citizen.
They are accused of defrauding Vostochny Bank of at least 2.5 billion rubles ($37.7 million). All of them deny any wrongdoing and blame the case on a shareholder dispute.
In an opinion piece on Monday in the Vedomosti business daily, Maxim Bouev — vice-rector of Moscow’s New Economic School — wrote the case proves what investors have long known: “If you want to invest in Russia, you have to accept your risk of eventually being arrested and finding yourself in the dock.”
This is the latest in a long line of cases in which top business people have been accused of crimes motivated by commercial or political interests, but these have rarely involved foreigners.
Business figures and economists reacted strongly to investigators swooping on Baring Vostok, founded 25 years ago, which has brought in investments of more than $3 billion to Russia despite the geopolitical tensions and Western sanctions of recent years.
Arkady Volozh, the CEO of Russian Internet giant Yandex, defended Calvey in a statement, saying he “has always been a standard for the market of decency and law-abidingness.”
Other business leaders said they fear the case will deal a severe blow to an investment climate already marred by corruption and the lack of independent courts — especially given the strong-arm tactics employed.
“This gives Russia a hateful image abroad,” the president of the French-Russian chamber of commerce, Emmanuel Quidet, told AFP.
The chamber on Monday said it was “very concerned” about the arrests in a joint statement with the Association of European Businesses, a federation of multinational companies working in Russia.
The case could “severely damage the climate and attractiveness of Russia for direct investments from abroad,” it said.
The Kremlin sought to dispel those fears, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Calvey’s arrest should “not affect the investment climate” in Russia.
He added he was aware of the contribution to the Russian economy made by Calvey, who has met President Vladimir Putin numerous times.
The government in early February unveiled a 340 billion euros ($385 billion) plan to achieve its economic goals and support growth that is forecast to slow this year. This will require major private investment.
“It’s an electric shock,” a source in the Association of European Businesses told AFP.
“You get the impression that business rivals are using the justice system and Russian (security) services to settle their scores. But the fact that the authorities are letting this happen sends out a very negative signal. You wonder who will be next.”
In the Novaya Gazeta independent newspaper, outspoken commentator Yulia Latynina claimed that in the context of current East-West tensions, “for security officials, business people are criminals and foreigners are spies.”