Big Companies Thought Insurance Covered a Cyberattack. They May Be Wrong.

That label was sharply criticized by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who called the hack a “new form of warfare” and “terrorism.”

The description of the Sony attack was deliberate, said John Carlin, the assistant attorney general at the Justice Department at the time. In an interview, he said the Obama administration had worried, in part, that the use of “cyberwar” would have triggered the liability exclusions and fine print that Mondelez is now challenging in court.

Scott Kannry, the chief executive of the risk assessment firm Axio Global, said the insurance industry was watching the Mondelez case closely because many policies were created before cyberattacks were such an urgent risk.

“You have insurers who are sitting on insurance policies that were never underwritten or understood to cover cyber risk,” Mr. Kannry said. “Zurich didn’t underwrite the policy with the idea that a cyber

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