Network risk insurance market to flourish

Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 12:01 PM EST

This weekend's Internet attack, which virtually cut off Internet access in South Korea and toppled other networks worldwide, underlined the impossibility of total computer security, said Counterpane Internet Security Chief Technology Officer Bruce Schneier. "I believe that within a few years hacking insurance will be ubiquitous," Schneier said. "The notion that you must rely on prevention is just as stupid as building a brick wall around your house. That notion is just wrong."

At the same time, some security experts questioned whether insurance policies would be effective, given that many of them exclude more incidents than they cover, given the unpredictability of where and how an attack could come.

Still, the hacker insurance field got a big boost on Jan. 1, when many existing commercial general liability policies expired and were replaced by policies that contain explicit exclusions for hacker-related losses, attorney Robert Steinberg of Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles told clients in a recent brief.

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