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Lloyd’s of London reboots after dodgy network activity detected

Lloyd’s of London has reset its IT systems and is probing a possible cyberattack against it after detecting worrisome network behavior this week.

“Lloyd’s has detected unusual activity on its network and we are investigating the issue,” a spokesperson told The Register on Thursday. “As a precautionary measure, we are resetting the Lloyd’s network and systems. All external connectivity has been turned off, including Lloyd’s delegated authority platforms.”

The UK-based insurance marketplace, which is made up of about 80 insurance syndicates that underwrite risk, added: “We have informed market participants and relevant parties, and we will provide more information once our investigations have concluded.”

Lloyd’s spokesperson wouldn’t be drawn on further immediate details regarding the security snafu, including whether any data was stolen, if it was a ransomware attack, and who was potentially behind the intrusion.

The insurance market has supported sanctions against Russia that aim to punish President Vladimir Putin for invading neighboring Ukraine. These include a UK and European Union ban on insuring ships carrying Russian oil.

Additionally, word of the weird Lloyd’s network activity comes shortly after a warning from Kyiv that Russia plans to conduct “massive cyberattacks” on Ukraine and its allies’ critical infrastructure and power grids.

The odd network traffic at the insurance souk follows several high-profile cyberattacks over the past couple months that hit a major US healthcare network, the Los Angeles Unified School District, Uber and Rockstar Games.

Even before detecting a possible IT intrusion, Lloyd’s has been in the infosec headlines since late August after making changes to its policies that will soon prohibit its syndicates from covering losses arising from certain nation-state cyberattacks and those that happen during wars.

In a memo sent to its syndicates, underwriting director Tony Chaudhry said Lloyd’s remains “strongly supportive” of cyberattack coverage. However, as these threats continue to grow, they may “expose the market to systemic risks that syndicates could struggle to manage,” he added [PDF], noting that nation-state-sponsored attacks are particularly costly to insure.

According to Lloyd’s 2021 annual report, it took in £39.2 billion ($45 billion) in gross written premiums and took in £2.3 billion ($2 billion) in profit before tax. ®