Russian Hackers Photo: GBHackers

ECB, UK, US warn banks of potential Russian-sponsored cyberattacks

*The European Central Bank and other industry regulators in the United Kingdom and United States have alerted large lenders to their being a ‘likely target’ for Russian-sponsored cyberattacks amid growing tensions over Ukraine

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As the Western world is preparing to impose sanctions, there are apparent worries over that hacking in the financial sector increases in several economies, especially in Europe and the United States (US).

Subsequently, the European Central Bank (ECB) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom (UK) have issued warnings for their banks to prepare for possible Russian-sponsored cyberattacks amid rising tensions over Ukraine.

ConsumerConnect gathered the FCA informed the UK’s large lenders of them being a “likely target” for Russian hackers. Similarly, the European Central Bank is on high alert for potential cyberattacks coming from Russia, agency report said.

Andrea Enria, who spoke on behalf of ECB during a news conference, said: “We are asking (banks) to strengthen their cyber regime measures and look at a potential increase in attacks and the danger of these attacks going forward.”

A spokesman for the FCA also commented: “As you’d expect, we’re contacting firms to highlight the National Cyber Security Centre’s statement that organisations should bolster their cyber security resilience.”

Currently, banks are preparing by conducting cyberwar games. Regulators told their banks to seek available guidance and have adequate cyber defence systems in place, Telegraph report stated.

The move reflects recent fears over the Russian invasion as over 100,000 Russian troops reached Ukraine’s border, report noted.

It was further gathered the New York Department of Financial Services, earlier in January 2022, had issued a similar warning to financial institutions, suggesting that cyberattacks might follow if the conflict escalates and triggers sanctions.

“Talking to financial services providers at the moment, one of their concerns is ‘well if the geopolitics becomes very unstable, what’s going to happen in terms of cyber warfare alongside that?’

“That’s a question we didn’t ask a couple of decades ago. But it’s absolutely front and centre of our minds at the moment,” Mark Branson, Head of Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin, stated according to report.

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