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February 2004

Cyberspace security liability lawsuits on the rise?

You've seen it often enough. Some hacker creates an army of zombies to launch a DDoS attack against a high-profile corporate target. Maybe he hijacks your networks as a platform for his attack. In addition to being an unwitting accomplice, you're hit with something brand new -- a liability suit by the company devastated by the attack. "Why me?" you ask. Going after the original attacker -- if you can catch him -- seems to be the obvious course of action, but it's unlikely that a script-kiddie living in his parents' basement will have much liquidity. Stricken companies are going to follow the money to recoup their losses. Legal experts think it's only a matter of time before hacker victims start suing the owners of systems and networks used as launchpads in attacks. Their clients are asking now how they can strengthen their security posture against such suits. Infosecurity's first downstream liability lawsuit, experts say, will likely be born from catastrophe. For example, an online retailer will be hit by a devastating DoS ...

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