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Investors sue SolarWinds, claiming company new of cybersecurity risks ahead of breach

SolarWinds faces investor lawsuit

SolarWinds investors have sued the software company’s directors, alleging they knew about and failed to monitor cybersecurity risks to the company ahead of a breach that created a vulnerability in thousands of its customers’ systems.

The lawsuit filed in Delaware on Thursday appears to be the first based on records shareholders demanded from the company after Reuters reported last December that malicious code inserted into one of the company’s software updates left U.S. government agencies and companies exposed.

The lawsuit names a mix of current and former directors as defendants.

Led by a Missouri pension fund, the investors allege that the board failed to implement procedures to monitor cybersecurity risks, such as requiring the company’s management to report on those risks regularly.

They are seeking damages on behalf of the company and to reform the company’s policies on cybersecurity oversight.

The lawsuit is the latest fallout over the breach of SolarWinds’ software, which gave hackers access to the data of thousands of companies and government offices that used its products and which U.S. officials have attributed to Russia.

SolarWinds has said it is cooperating with investigations into the breach by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice and others.

— Reuters

Kroger probes fake bitcoin announcement

Kroger and a press-release distributor are investigating a fraudulent announcement saying the grocer would begin accepting payment in Bitcoin Cash — the second apparent scam in less than two months to tie a major retailer to cryptocurrency.

The statement appeared early Friday on PRNewswire, a unit of Cision that is used by many large companies to make official announcements. Kroger’s investor-relations website automatically picked up the release, and media organizations including Bloomberg News published the information. Bitcoin Cash briefly spiked about 5 percent. 

“This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded,” Kroger said. 

The episode recalled a similar hoax in September involving Walmart. In that situation, a fake statement went out on a separate wire service, GlobeNewswire, saying the retail giant would begin accepting the cryptocurrency Litecoin. The fake news release set off a short-lived surge of more than 30 percent in Litecoin before Walmart said the information was false and the statement was taken down.

— Bloomberg News

General Motors confirmed Friday it will again halt production at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, which makes the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, for three more weeks. The largest U.S. automaker in August widened its recall of the Bolt to more than 140,000 vehicles to replace battery modules and to address fire risks after a number of fires. GM said the plant, which halted production in August after the battery recall, now has a targeted return to production date of Dec. 6. The new three-week production halt will start Nov. 15.

Russia succeeded in overturning part of a judgment for a record $50 billion to former shareholders of Yukos Oil, meaning the 16-year legal saga that raged between the Kremlin and the owners of what was once Russia's biggest oil company is set to continue. The ruling by the Netherlands' highest court Friday overturned a prior opinion into the bankruptcy of Yukos. The 2003 arrest of Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and subsequent seizure of Yukos for back taxes marked a watershed in the early days of Vladimir Putin's presidency. 

Shell said on Friday it had restarted production at its offshore Mars and Ursa in the Gulf of Mexico and began exporting oil and gas through a transfer facility, which was shut because of damage from Hurricane Ida. The oil major was the hardest-hit producer from Ida, which tore through the Gulf of Mexico in August and removed 28 million barrels from the market. Shell's West Delta-143 offshore facility was originally expected to be offline for repairs until the end of 2021.

— From news services