The financial system could probably face the knock-on of a single large institution, but if a cyberattack shuts down many large financial institutions, the disruption could last for weeks, he said.
Additionally, if the attacker hits the markets during particularly volatile periods – for example, on one of the “triple witching” Fridays that occur each quarter when stock options, stock index futures and stock index options are all combined The days are over – the effect could have been amplified.
Such an attack would require skill, resources and immense coordination, which opponents have not yet shown. Most cyber attacks against financial institutions to date have involved criminal theft of bank card numbers and account credentials; Although there have been some incidents involving national-supported actors, they have been kept in scope and influence.
According to the Justice Department, in late 2011, Iranian hackers affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched a month-long service campaign against dozens of US financial institutions, including American Express, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo. documents. The attack disabled banking websites and locked out hundreds of thousands of customers from online accounts. And in 2016, hackers linked to North Korea broke into Bangladesh Bank and hijacked employee credentials in an attempt to steal $951 million through the SWIFT network, a messaging system used by financial institutions. they succeeded in catching $81 million.
However, more sophisticated and destructive attacks are not out of the question. The New York Cyber Task Force – a group of government and private industry experts convened by Columbia University and led by Mr Rattray – examined a “grave but plausible” scenario involving several financial institutions. In a theoretical scenario, a . is described in report good In a task force published this year, North Korean hackers compromise a third-party service provider such as a cloud computing company to install a self-propagating digital worm that can sneak into a financial institution’s network and wipe out data. As other financial institutions communicate with the infected bank, the viper spreads to their network as well. The scenario sheds light on how quickly an attack can escalate and how financial institutions focused on securing their own networks from adversaries miss the risk of being compromised by networks of trusted partners. can.
If this scenario turns out to be as envisioned by the task force, an initiative called Sheltered Harbor will at least help address the loss of data. program, Launched by Industry in 2015, designed to protect banks from losing valuable data due to cyber attacks – the data of participating banks is Encrypted and daily backup For offline secure storage so that if it is deleted or replaced, or access to it is blocked, it can be restored.
It’s not just about the banks
Under the White House of 2013 executive Order, the Department of Homeland Security was asked to identify critical infrastructure for which a cybersecurity incident could have a “catastrophic regional or national impact on public health or safety, economic security or national security”. Within the financial sector, DHS and the Treasury Department identified more than two dozen major financial institutions that fit the description, according to sources who did not wish to be named because the information is sensitive.