Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UK beefs up cyber defences after banks attacked

06 February 2014, 12:50

London - Britain's financial, transport and energy industries said they will strengthen their defences against cyber attacks, building on a war-game simulation where banks came under assault from "a hostile nation state".

Cyber attacks are increasing in regularity and severity as "hacktivists" and criminals become more sophisticated. Banks are frequently targeted by co-ordinated online assaults or hacks on specific lenders.

London's financial community tested its resilience in a war-game simulation in November, when investment banks and exchanges were tested against a concerted cyber attack "by a hostile nation state with the aim of causing significant disruption/dislocation", the Bank of England (BoE) said on Wednesday in a report on findings from the event.

About 220 bankers, regulators, government officials and market infrastructure providers took part in the exercise, dubbed "Waking Shark II". A similar exercise was held in 2011, and New York also held one last year, called "Quantum Dawn 2".

The simulated attacks disrupted services, wiped data and caused liquidity and funding issues for investment banks, the BoE said. There were also problems with payments, calculating overnight risk and margins, and clearing trades.

The BoE said the one-day exercise was a successful test of systems and any future test may include retail banking operations.

The report coincided with a meeting on Wednesday of UK lawmakers and regulators from Britain's financial, transport and energy sectors, as well as from its telecoms and water industries. They pledged to lay out a common set of objectives to protect essential services in the event of attack.

British Business Secretary Vince Cable said cyber security was "a top tier national security priority".

RBS attacked

In December state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said its platform was briefly attacked by hackers, causing problems for customers accessing accounts.

Significant threat

One unidentified London-listed company incurred losses of £800m in a cyber attack several years ago, according to British security services.

Cyber criminals, extortionists and hacktivists - politically motivated hackers - may also be trying to influence share prices and interfere with commodity exchanges with the use of their distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

"Since 2011, and growing in 2012 and 2013, DDoS attack campaigns have become a significant threat to financial firms," security firm Prolexic Technologies said in a recent report.

DDoS attacks bombard websites with huge volumes of traffic from multiple systems so they overload a server.

It can be hard to track the root of the attacks and it is often not clear why they take place - they may have no motive or could be a show of dissent by disgruntled customers or anti-capitalist protesters.

Prolexic said attacks on multiple US securities and commodity exchanges ran for three months in 2012, co-ordinated by a group that claimed to support the Occupy Wall Street movement and was critical of international banks.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...