Computer Fraud in the Ever-Evolving Cyberspace: Significant Legal and Insurance Issues to Consider
Over the years, technology have been evolving at a dizzying pace. Consequently, fraudsters and cybercrimes have kept up with these advancements, causing remarkable damages to companies and institutions by infiltrating security systems with a wide variety of creative techniques. The implications of such attacks, be it loss of data, property or large amounts of money is often debilitating and may lead companies to seek their insurance providers for some coverage.
However, due to the complex nature of computer fraud attacks and the variation in the cases, insurance companies have been denying coverage to victims of computer fraud incidents. Thus, prompting insured companies to seek legal action against their insurers.
With the significant developments involving computer fraud, insurance companies and insurers, must be well-informed of the recent updates surrounding these topics. As future trends are beginning to shape-up, being up-to-date with the key trends and considerations is imperative.
In a LIVE webcast, a panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the significant and latest issues surrounding the computer fraud insurance landscape. Some notable cases along with some tips and tricks in bringing out the best in these lawsuits in a rapidly evolving legal climate will also be discussed.
Key issues that will be covered in this course are:
- Computer Fraud Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide
- Legal and Insurance Issues to Consider
- Litigation Strategies and Practical Tips
- Notable Cases
- What Lies Ahead
Eric Chuang, Managing Director
BDO USA, LLP
- Emails attack fundamentals and the myths about how to protect the email system. Will discuss how email attacks are perpetrated and what each security service actually can and cannot protect against.
- Ransomware 101 – will discuss the top 3 things an organization need do to protect itself from ransomware attacks
- Top 3 / Top 5 most effective cybersecurity steps organizations can take to minimize the cyber threat.
Michael Dorsi, Associate Attorney
Ad Astra Law Group, LLP
- Overview of Computer Crime Laws
- Federal and state law provide a variety of legal grounds to sue about computer misuse. The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and its state analogs (every state has a criminal law, many have civil causes of action) tend to have the broadest coverage. Other relevant laws include the Stored Communications Act, Wiretap Act, and others. Claims can also be made under common law (e.g. trespass to chattels).
- I can prepare an overview of relevant laws that form the basis for liability.
- Unlawful Access vs. Unlawful Use
- Several high-profile criminal prosecutions failed because they targeted wrongdoers for what they did with information, not wrongfully accessing it. For example, a person who has permission to access information who takes it and uses it for other purposes may not be liable under federal computer crime law. They may have ordinary business tort or contract liability, but this has litigation implications including the option of bringing claims in federal court.
- Key cases on finding this distinction include United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854, 862 (9th Cir. 2012), WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, LLC v. Miller, 687 F.3d 199, 204 (4th Cir. 2012), and United States v. Valle, 807 F.3d 508, 527 (2d Cir. 2015). Contrary cases include Int’l Airport Ctrs., L.L.C. v. Citrin, 440 F.3d 418, 420 (7th Cir. 2006), United States v. John, 597 F.3d 263 (5th Cir. 2010), and United States v. Rodriguez, 628 F.3d 1258, 1263 (11th Cir. 2010).
- This issue is closely related to required intent — must the wrongdoer understand that they are not allowed to access the relevant computer system, or must the wrongdoer only intend to access?
- Many Computer Crime Lawsuits Are About Something Else
- It often becomes apparent in computer crime litigation that something else is driving the dispute. Sometimes it is an employment dispute, and the employer is looking for a reason to justify terminating the employee. In others it is a business ownership dispute, where each purported owner claims the right to lock the other — who they claim is not an owner — out of company systems. In those cases, the root of the case may not be the computer crime at all.
- Consider United States v. Collins, 56 F.3d 1416 (D.C. Cir. 1995). Collins used Defense Intelligence Agency computers and printers to write and publish a newsletter about ballroom dancing. The jury convicted him for conversion of both computer and printer resources. The D.C. Circuit concluded that his use of computers was not conversion, but his use of printers was (ink and paper), and that was sufficient to affirm the conviction. But really this was about an employee being off task and misbehaving.
Who Should Attend:
- Insurance Lawyers
- Insurance Companies
- In-House Counsel
- Legal Advisers
- Policyholders’ Counsel
- Public and Private Companies
- Other related/interested Professionals and Organizations
Eric Chuang is a Managing Director in the firm’s Forensic Technology Services practice with more than 20 years of investigative experience in law enforcement and national security, including cybersecurity, incident response, crisis management, computer network operations and secure communications. Eric has held several senior positions in law enforcement, including most recently as Chief of the computer operations group in the Operational Technology Division of the FBI.
Having extensive experience in all aspects of computer network operations, Eric helps clients to rapidly respond to major cyber incidents, identifying compromised systems and impacted individuals, determining breach scope and data loss, advising on containment and remediation, and future breach mitigation. From 2010 until 2017, he was involved in the investigation of many notable cyber incidents, and has worked extensively with a range of cyber industry partners and technology vendors. He also utilized his Doctor of Psychology in the FBI to conduct numerous investigative interviews, crisis management, conflict resolution, and training.
Eric received the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Science & Technology Achievement, having built and deployed an enterprise undercover capability to support the FBI’s operational activities on the internet, and was responsible for its global tactical and crisis communications. Experienced in the coordination of foreign counterintelligence and counterterrorism, Eric received the Director of National Counterterrorism Center Award in 2008.
Eric Chuang is a Managing Director in the firm’s Forensic Technology Services practice with more than 20 years of investigative …
Michael Dorsi is an Associate at Ad Astra Law Group in San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and UC Berkeley. Mr. Dorsi developed an expertise in computer misuse through litigation, handling matters ranging from illicit deletion of company files, manipulation of passwords to lock owners out of their own systems, and the surreptitious use of software as a service exceeding licensed usage. He has sought remedies under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well as applications of common law to digital rights. In 2017, Mr. Dorsi co-authored the article Computer Criminal Intent in the University of San Francisco Law Review, analyzing the effectiveness of technical-barrier based defenses to computer misuse statutes. He is an avid hiker.
Michael Dorsi is an Associate at Ad Astra Law Group in San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of Harvard …
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About BDO USA, LLP
BDO delivers assurance, tax, and advisory services to clients of all sizes – across industries, throughout the country, and around the globe. With a network spanning more than 160 countries worldwide, BDO is the 5th largest global network of public accounting firms. It’s our people, the knowledge they bring to engagements, their commitment to quality service, and the candid relationships they develop with clients that has made BDO the distinctive choice for professional accounting services for more than 100 years.
About Ad Astra Law Group, LLP
Ad Astra Law Group, LLP is a litigation practice in San Francisco, California focused on business, employment, and real estate. The firm’s name means “to the stars” and reflects its mission to counsel clients through difficult litigation situations to achieve great results. Ad Astra’s attorneys represent both plaintiffs and defendants in the state and federal courts in California. They are consistent contributors to the legal community, regularly participating in bar association activities, publishing on hot topics, and speaking on cutting-edge issues. Their clients are individuals and businesses that are representative of the San Francisco Bay Area’s culture and include bars, restaurants, cannabis businesses, tech companies, law firms, and various other service providers and serial entrepreneurs. Check them out at www.astralegal.com.