UK banks hit by cyber attacks, Bank of England reveals
28 November 2013
Financial Stability Report
Several UK banks have been hit by cyber attacks that have led to financial losses over the past six months. The Bank of England revealed the startling insight in its latest Financial Stability Report.
The document – which outlines the various issues facing the financial sector in the UK – cites cyber security as a growing area of concern and revealed that several institutions have been affected.
“Cyber attack has continued to threaten to disrupt the financial system. In the past six months, several UK banks and financial market infrastructures have experienced cyber attacks, some of which have disrupted services,” it said.
“While losses have been small relative to UK banks’ operational risk capital requirements, they have revealed vulnerabilities. If these vulnerabilities were exploited to disrupt services, then the cost to the financial system could be significant and borne by a large number of institutions.”
The report went on to warn that the financial market is particularly open to a widespread incident, given its interrelated nature.
“The financial system has a number of potential vulnerabilities to cyber attack, reflecting its high degree of interconnectedness, its reliance on centralised
market infrastructure, and its sometimes complex legacy IT systems,” it said.
In order to try and combat this threat the Treasury, government agencies and financial authorities are working together to draw up an action plan to “assess, test, and improve cyber resilience across core parts of the financial sector.”
This work includes the recent operation, dubbed Waking Shark II, which was designed to test how the market would react to a major cyber incident. A report into the outcome of the drill will be published in early 2014, the Bank of England said in its report.
V3 contacted the Bank of England for more information on the attacks but was told no more information would be made public.