Reed Smith Client Alerts

Today, June 27, 2017, multiple news sources are reporting that a ransomware attack called Petrwrap/Petya reportedly immobilized the computer network of multiple international businesses, including those of a major global law firm, resulting in a complete lockdown of its computers and phone systems, and making it impossible for any work to be conducted. The attack has reportedly crippled networks across many industries throughout Europe and the world. This type of lockdown is precisely the type of situation that many companies fear when seeking cyberliability coverage.

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that blocks access to a victim’s data by locking a system or encrypting data until the victim agrees to pay a ransom. Some versions threaten to delete the data as well if payment is not made. Other forms of extortion include denial-of-service (DoS) attacks that disrupt, or make inaccessible, a company’s network until a specific demand is met. The WannaCry worldwide cyber attack in May 2017 is an example of a DoS attack, and was one of the most widely publicized instances of a ransomware attack, infecting the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and many other governments and companies worldwide. It has been reported that today’s Petrwrap/Petya attack included a demand for a Bitcoin ransom and the following electronic ransom note: