The dangers of calling out cyber attackers

The US$100 million (S$135 million) lawsuit that Mondelez, the maker of Oreo and Cadbury chocolate, has brought against Zurich Insurance Group shows that governments should be more careful about identifying the would-be culprits in putative cyberwars: Such claims can have unintended consequences and can sometimes harm businesses.

In June 2017, a malware program dubbed ExPetr or NotPetya wreaked havoc at Danish shipping giant Maersk, US pharmaceutical titan Merck and a number of other big corporations, including Mondelez. NotPetya used an exploit known as EternalBlue, created by the United States National Security Agency and leaked earlier in 2017.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'The dangers of calling out cyber attackers'. Print Edition | Subscribe