Review: Iran cyber hack opened a Pandora’s box

July 29, 2016

The documentary "Zero Days" takes a thriller-style look at the unprecedented attack on the country's nuclear facilities using the Stuxnet virus. It shows the lack of norms in this new kind of war. What’s left unexplored is how companies have become fair game in cyber battles.

Blockchain teamwork could help banks fight hackers

May 13, 2016

An $81 mln central bank heist and a new attack on a commercial lender underscore the rise of cyber-related risks. The European Central Bank wants banks to log serious incidents. But industry collaboration - as seen with distributed ledgers - would do more to shore up defences.

Activist + private equity = no M&A for Symantec

February 5, 2016

The internet security group netted $5.3 bln from selling Veritas. Pressured by Elliott, it’s now borrowing $500 mln from Silver Lake and returning all the cash to investors rather than keeping a war chest. Symantec’s questionable dealmaking record makes the straitjacket merited.

How Symantec let bad math lead to a shaky deal

January 21, 2016

Carlyle’s buyout of the software company’s Veritas unit was never actually worth the $8 bln headline figure. Excessive leverage was dressed up to make it look workable. Even the new 8 pct price cut is misleading. Boards and investors can help themselves by getting M&A sums right.

Whiskey heist proves potent for cybersecurity age

By Rob Cox
April 22, 2015

An old-fashioned case of 200 missing bottles of prized Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, which Kentucky cops cracked on Tuesday, is almost refreshing in an era of daily digital theft. It was an inside job. Watching one’s own is as important and difficult as guarding against intruders.

Review: Choking on digital exhaust

April 2, 2015

Government and corporate mass surveillance of citizens is an aberration on a par with child labor or environmental pollution, claims security expert Bruce Schneier in “Data and Goliath.” He offers a rousing call for resistance, and hope for change - a few decades hence.

Bank cyberinsurance is overdue to come of age

December 23, 2014

It’s a confusing market, but growing fast. No wonder with a huge breach at JPMorgan in 2014, never mind monsters at Sony and Home Depot. Add a Washington campaign, and insurance may become standard. As well as financial cover, that could improve security – but only at the margin.

Sony email shareholders would like to see

By Rob Cox
December 17, 2014

The hacking scandal at the Japanese conglomerate’s Hollywood studio isn’t just embarrassing. It’s a business problem for a company already struggling to turn itself around. Herewith, a fictional selection of internal messages Sony’s board ought to be fielding.

Jamie Dimon returns to challenges old and new

October 14, 2014

JPMorgan’s boss is back after cancer treatment. But results missed estimates thanks to legal and other costs. The investment bank is punching below its weight. Cybersecurity is a growing worry. Even the timing of the bank’s earnings release was off. Dimon has his work cut out.

Uncle Sam gets wires crossed on data privacy

September 24, 2014

A hacker went to prison for exposing personal information AT&T didn’t protect. Now prosecutors are defending the legality of doing essentially the same thing in the Silk Road drug website case. Online privacy laws are flawed when enforcers can’t decide what’s allowed.