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10/28/2019
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When ransomware struck one of the world's top aluminum producers, the insurance payout covered a fraction of the cost. A top hacking contest expands to include ICS equipment. And South Africa is inundated with cyberattacks. This is CyberScoop for Monday, October 28.

Even when cyber insurers pay, big costs may linger

Norsk Hydro received an insurance payout of $3.6 million following a highly publicized cyberattack earlier this year, the company revealed in its third quarter earnings report. The insurance payout represents about 6% of the $60 million to $71 million in costs created by the incident through the third quarter, the company said. The Norwegian aluminum and energy giant expects more compensation will come as more costs are totaled. Norsk Hydro, which had a market capitalization of $12 billion last year, said after the attack in March that its policy, led by AIG, was “solid.” The incident started in Norsk Hydro's U.S. facilities then spread, and it wasn’t until summer when the company determined the situation was stable. Jeff Stone has more context.


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Let’s Pwn some ICS gear

For the first time in its 12-year existence, Pwn2Own will be focusing on software used in industrial environments. CyberScoop got a preview of what will go down in Miami in January, when top-tier researchers will test out zero-day exploits on ICS software. One organizer called it a “radical concept” for ICS vendors accustomed to non-disclosure agreements. Another said he expected some new faces to show up and test their skills. Up to $250,000 in cash and other prizes will be up for grabs. Sean Lyngaas has the details.


Cyber crooks throw the kitchen sink at South Africa

South Africa has long been grappling with high levels of cybercrime. Last week provided a vivid illustration of how and why.  Johannesburg, the country’s largest city, announced it was dealing with a second major cybersecurity incident in three months, while South African banks had to contend with a series of DDoS attacks. Officials in Johannesburg temporarily shut down online billing and other services after a group of hackers, claiming to have completely compromised the city’s IT systems, demanded roughly $34,000.  It’s a familiar feeling for city residents who, in July, learned that a local electric utility had been infected with ransomware and forced to rebuild some of its computer systems. Sean is monitoring the developments.


Cyber National Guard organizes in Indiana

Indiana has become home to the Army National Guard’s fifth cyber battalion responsible for providing additional protection to the nation’s critical infrastructure. Comprised of nearly 100 soldiers focused on cybersecurity and “cyber warfare,” the 127th Cyber Protection Battalion will operate out of the Defense Department’s cyber range at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, near Indianapolis. There, the battalion will “provide training readiness oversight to conduct cyberspace operations, network vulnerability assessments, security cooperation partnerships and [Federal Emergency Management Agency] support along with cyberspace support of federal requirements,” according to the Pentagon. Colin Wood had the story at StateScoop.


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