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Mike Grant, Principal & Director, Data Breach Practice and Brad Hering, Marketing Executive

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Phishing Hackers Targeting W-2s This Tax Season

By Mike Grant, Principal & Director, Data Breach Practice and Brad Hering, Marketing Executive

clock February 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Last year, the IRS estimated income tax fraud would cost taxpayers roughly $21 billion[1]. The upcoming tax season is expected to bring more losses from phishing scams due to the amount of personal information (W-2s, tax returns, social security numbers, etc.) circulating during tax season and the increased sophistication of the attacks.

Hackers use phishing emails to convince employees (typically in the Human Resources or Finance departments) to send over personal information about employees, often by email. These types of emails are deceiving, with many disguised to look like they are coming from company executives, such as the CEO. Once received by the hacker, this personal information allows them to file a tax return, cash in on someone’s tax refund or steal their identity.  The process is quick as hackers have machines set up to take advantage of this information almost as soon as they receive it.

Common Phishing Emails

The IRS reported that the following are some common phishing emails to look out for:[2]

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security, Technology

Think Your General Liability Policy Will Cover a Data Breach? Think Again.

By Mike Grant, Principal & Director, Data Breach Practice and Brad Hering, Marketing Executive

clock April 18, 2016 at 2:45 PM

On April 11, 2016, a Virginia federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that a data security breach is covered by a General Liability (GL) policy.  The specific ruling in Travelers Indemnity Company of America (Travelers) v. Portal Healthcare Solutions (Portal) ties back to the accidental publication of private medical records on the internet. 

This breach arose in 2013 when two individuals searched their names on Google and found their private medical records from Glen Falls Hospital at the top of the search results. The two individuals subsequently sued the Glen Falls Hospital and Portal Healthcare Solutions, the company hired to secure patient records, for this privacy violation.  During the trial, Travelers, who had issued two separate GL policies to Portal during the 4-month period the records were exposed, declined to provide a defense.  The court ruling mandates that Travelers defend Portal.

This appears to be a groundbreaking ruling that marginalizes Cyber/Data Breach insurance policies, correct? Not so fast. Before you reconsider Cyber/Data Breach insurance or plan to rely on your GL policy to protect you against data breaches, consider these facts:

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security

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