In a published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that an insurance policy exclusion for ”hostile/warlike action” did not include a cyberattack on a nonmilitary company, regardless of whether that attack was from a private actor or a government or sovereign power.

According to the opinion, a malware/cyberattack known as NotPetya infected Merck’s computer and network systems in 2017, which was delivered through an accounting software called M.E. Doc. Within 90 seconds of the initial infection, 10,000 machines were infected. Within five minutes, that number reached 20,000. The attack resulted in the infection of more than 40,000 network machines and caused massive disruptions to the company’s global network in at least 64 countries.

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