What Is “Fake Ransomware”? The term “fake ransomware” might conjure up some feelings of relief. After all, if the ransomware is fake, then it must not have encrypted files, right? However, the term has been used to refer to a few different variants of a true ransomware attack. Firstly, it has been used to describe ransomware that does not encrypt files, but instead attempts to trick the victim into thinking their files are encrypted while demanding a payment to recover them. Secondly, the term has also been used to refer to ransomware that does in fact encrypt your files, but does not offer a decryption key if ransom is paid. This is much more nefarious and destructive than the first type; a real sucker punch. And most recently, the term has been used to refer to a case where ransomware was deployed by a company against itself to cover up…

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Cyber-Security ETFs and Individual Stocks

Image of stocks rising

In a previous article the impact of cyber-breach on stock prices and the value of cyber-insurance to corporations was reviewed. Ransomware and IT breaches are increasing, and the expectation is that more companies will turn to cyber-insurance, and also increase their IT security controls. Here is a list of cyber-security listed ETFs and a list of all the companies included in those ETFs with duplicates removed, along with a company description. CIBR – First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF Includes 40 individual stocks comprising $3.58 billion in assets Includes other industries, such as aerospace and defense (FactSet) Concentrated with 10 largest making up 47% of market cap Two stars rating by Morningstar HACK – ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF Includes 59 individual stocks comprising $2.04 billion in assets Modified equal-weight scheme (not concentrated) with 10 largest making up 28.5% of the market cap HACK has “a unique, cybersecurity-focused take on the…

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Cyber-Security’s Impact on Corporate America

IT Security and Stocks

Tale of the Tape Hackers have kicked some big time ass against major American companies in the past 10 years. JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, Equifax, Uber, LinkedIn, eBay are just a few of the large corporate victims. Just in 2021 many corporate IT hacks have made the headlines with the Colonial Pipeline hack being the most recent. Well, that was, until JBS a major American meat processing plant revealed it had also been breached just days ago. Colonial Pipeline CEO confirmed the company paid $4.4 million ransom.  CNA Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the US, reportedly paid hackers $40 million after a ransomware attack. Information on whether Acer ended up paying the ransom for their breach in March 2021 seems hard to come by but, the initial ransom demand was $50 million and included a threat to increase the demand to $100 million. If Acer did…

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