UK Banks to Simulate “Very Severe” Cyber Attack
&lt;img style=”margin: 10px;” alt=”cyber-attack_2609464b” src=”https://d3ojdig7p1k9j.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cyber-attack_2609464b-200×200.jpg” width=”200″ height=”200″ />Stephen: They’re saying this mid-November simulated “very severe” online attack is to test UK’s banking, payments and markets systems. But could this very public announcement be designed to stabilise markets if some other anomalies – such as the imminent RV and/or the Global Currency Reset – appear from nowhere? Or could this be some cover-up for another major planetary event? I pose the questions only. I do not know the answers.
By Harry Wilson, The Telegraph, UK – October 6, 2013
Banks will next month launch the most extensive cyber threat exercise in two years as the authorities test the preparedness of the financial system to survive a sustained online attack.
Operation Waking Shark 2 has been scheduled for mid-November with every high street bank expected to take part in a one-day “war game” simulating the impact of a major cyber attack on the payments and markets systems on which the UK’s financial system depends.
An outside consultant has designed and will lead the test – monitored by the Bank of England, Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority – to assess the ability of Britain’s core financial services providers to withstand attacks by cyber criminals as well as state-sponsored terrorist attacks on the UK.
The exercise comes two years after the now defunct Financial Services Authority launched the Original Operation Waking Shark to test the strength of the online defences.
One source with knowledge of the latest test, said it would simulate a “very severe” attack on British banks, the stock market and payment providers. Several thousand people across the financial services industry and at the regulators will take part in the exercise. “This is absolutely vital work and will enable us to see how are defences work in the event of a real attack and what areas need to be improved,” said the source.
The results of Operation Waking Shark 2 will be used to benchmark banks and other major financial institutions cyber security with those found to have weaker defences expected to face demands to invest more in online controls. Cyber security is emerging as one of the main threats to the banking system and regulators now take the ability of a lender to withstand a serious online attack almost as seriously as measures of strength such as capital levels and short-term liquidity buffers.
The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has repeatedly warned about the need to monitor banks’ online defences, as well as those of other key financial services providers.
The FPC has ordered regulators to come up with “action plans” in the event of cyber attack by the first quarter of 2014 and to issue it with an update on the work before the end of the year. As well as checking the industry’s defences, the FPC has also said the Bank of England itself must ensure it is able to operate if its own systems are attacked.
Andrew Haldane, executive director at the Bank of England with responsibility for financial stability and a member of the FPC, has been one of the main proponents of the need to improve cyber defences.
The Bank of England declined to comment for this article.
The cyber stress test comes amid increased concerns at the potential vulnerability of key parts of the financial system to attacks ranging from lone “hacktivists” right up to coordinated assaults financed by hostile countries.
Last month, a group of men were arrested after a suspected attempt to plant a remote device in a branch of Santander UK that it is alleged could have allowed criminals to steal money from customer accounts.
Banks have also faced so-called denial of service attacks that have caused their systems to fail.
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