September 15th, 2011
08:12 PM GMT
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(CNN) - UBS stands for the Union Bank of Switzerland. Yet this week's discovery of a $2 billion loss by an alleged rogue trader gave this most conservative of financial institutions the dubious honor of being dubbed the ‘Unauthorized’ Bank of Switzerland across many a dealing room in London.

The trader allegedly responsible has been identified. Police have made an arrest and the bank’s head of risk management will likely be engaged in some serious conversations. All the while, banking sector analysts are furiously adjusting their next earnings forecasts for the company.

In a memo to staff, UBS Chief Executive Oswald Grueber reportedly told staff that management would get to the bottom of the matter as soon as possible.

However, people familiar with the matter tell me Thursday's event may lead to some profound changes for the 157-year-old finance house.
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June 13th, 2011
07:28 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Another new week, another high profile cyber attack.

The International Monetary Fund suffered a “very major breach,” as first reported Saturday by the New York Times.

Details are sketchy on the attack, which was revealed to IMF employees last week but not made public. The incident reportedly happened before Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s May 14 arrest and his departure as head of the IMF, which assists in global financial crisis and is a repository for highly confidential financial information on its member states – nearly every country in the world.

According to the New York Times, the World Bank cut off its computer link with the IMF out of “an abundance of caution.”

“I can confirm that we are investigating an incident,” IMF spokesperson David Hawley told CNN by e-mail. “I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber-security incident.”

The attack appears to have used “spear phishing” – tricking the end user to click on a link, reveal password information or download a malicious program from a source that appears to be legitimate. The IMF hasn’t revealed any suspicions on who launched the attack.

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June 7th, 2011
06:33 AM GMT
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(CNN) – A few years ago a disgruntled employee for a large multinational automotive firm left the company - but when he walked out the door, he also walked out with plans for a new car model under development on a cheap USB drive.

When the plans were leaked, the cost to the company was an estimated $1 billion in lost sales and increased research and development costs, according to a security expert who worked on the case.

"The information ended up being published, which saw sales plummet for the existing model as customers decided to wait for the new model," said the expert, who asked not to be named due to confidentiality agreements with the automaker.

Yet that theft will never showed up in criminal statistics, nor will the cost be listed in public ledgers as cost due to "cybercrime." Murky by nature, cybercrime losses are difficult to categorize. That helps keep them hidden from the public eye by companies leery of publicizing breaches in corporate security.

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April 17th, 2009
10:23 AM GMT
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Quick update - I am surprised that the court in Sweden has jailed the four men from Pirate Bay for copyright infringment ... talk about sending a strong deterrent message. We didn't hear all the evidence so don't know the facts (such as how calculating they were in what they were doing) but to send someone to jail ... that's serious stuff.

An appeal will be lodged.



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