Frankfurt/London (Reuters) 02/09/2022 05:50
European and American banks conduct exercises to repel a Russian cyber attack
- Two sources familiar with the matter said that the European Central Bank, along with other banks, is preparing for a possible Russian-sponsored cyberattack
- A source said the banks were conducting electronic warfare exercises to test their ability to fend off an attack
- The New York Department of Financial Services issued an alert to financial institutions in late January, warning of retaliatory cyber attacks should Russia invade Ukraine.
Two sources familiar with the matter said that the European Central Bank, along with other banks, is preparing for a possible Russian-sponsored cyber attack, as tensions rise with… Ukraineat a time when the region is preparing for the financial repercussions of any of them.
The standoff between Russia and Ukraine has shaken Europe’s political and business leaders, who fear an invasion that could damage the entire region.
Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron shuttled from Moscow to Kiev in an attempt to act as a mediator after mobilizing Russia Its forces are near Ukraine.
The European Central Bank, led by former French minister Christine Lagarde and who oversees Europe’s largest lenders, is now alert to the threat of cyberattacks on banks launched from Russia, people said.
While the regulator has been focusing on the regular scams that have thrived during the coronavirus pandemic, the Ukraine crisis has turned its attention to cyber-attacks launched from Russia, one person said, adding that the European Central Bank has questioned banks about their defenses.
The source said the banks were conducting electronic warfare exercises to test their ability to fend off an attack.
For its part, the New York Department of Financial Services issued an alert to financial institutions in late January, warning of retaliatory cyber attacks in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of US sanctions.
The United States, the European Union and Britain have repeatedly warned Putin against attacking Ukraine after Russia deployed about 100,000 troops near the border with its ex-Soviet neighbour.
Earlier this year, several Ukrainian sites were hit by a cyberattack that left a warning to “fear and expect the worst”, as Russia massed forces near Ukraine’s border.
Ukraine’s State Security Service, the state security service, said it saw indications that the attack was linked to hacker groups linked to Russian intelligence services.
Russian officials say the West is caught up in Russia’s phobia and has no right to lecture Moscow on how to act after it expanded NATO’s military eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Kremlin has also repeatedly denied that the Russian state has anything to do with worldwide hacking, and has said it is ready to cooperate with the United States and others to crack down on cybercrime.
However, regulators in Europe are on high alert.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center has warned large organizations not to increase their resilience in cybersecurity amid heightened tensions over Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Mark Branson, Germany’s chief supervisor BaFin, told an online conference that cyberwarfare is intertwined with geopolitics and security.
The White House also blamed Russia for the devastating “NotPetya” cyber attack in 2017, when a virus paralyzed parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure, destroying thousands of computers in dozens of countries.
The vulnerability was underlined again last year, when one of the world’s largest hacking campaigns used a US technology company as a springboard to compromise a group of US government agencies, an attack the White House has blamed on Russia’s foreign intelligence services.
The attack hacked into software made by SolarWinds Corp, giving hackers access to thousands of companies that use its products, spread across Europe, where Denmark’s central bank said the country’s “financial infrastructure” had been bombed.
However, some believe that the Ukrainian crisis has outgrown it. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Washington and the media of creating panic.