State-sponsored cyberattacks on banks on the rise -report
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Cyberattacks on financial
institutions are increasingly being linked to nation-states,
resulting in destructive and disruptive damages rather than just
theft, according to a report by the Carnegie Endowment for
Out of 94 cases of cyberattacks reported as financial crimes
since 2007, the attackers behind 23 of them were believed t6o be
state-sponsored, the majority coming from countries like Iran,
Russia, China and North Korea, the report found.
The number of such cyberattacks linked to nations jumped to
six in 2018 from two in 2017 and two in 2016, the report, which
was co-developed with British defense company BAE Systems
The report which was shared with Reuters a day ahead of its
official release highlights growing concerns about the
vulnerability in the financial system to cybersecurity threats.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Japan's
central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda earlier this year said
cyberattacks are currently the biggest risk for financial
"Now banks have to defend against not only cyber criminals
and politically-motivated disruptions, usually of a temporary
nature, but large-scale theft pursued by a nation-state," said
Tim Maurer, co-director at the Carnegie Endowment for
"This evolution of the threat has forced regulators and
industry worldwide to shift their attention from mitigating
firm-specific risks to increasingly focus on sector- and
system-wide risks," Maurer said.
The report cited several example of such attacks.
In January, state-backed hackers from North Korea
infiltrated the Bank of Chile's ATM network and siphoned off $10
million, it said. Last year, North Koreans hacked the systems of
India’s Cosmos Bank and siphoned off nearly $13.5 million
through simultaneous withdrawals across 28 countries.
In 2016, North Korean hackers carried out an $81 million
heist by breaching Bangladesh Bank’s systems and using the SWIFT
network (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunication) to send fraudulent money transfer orders to
the New York branch of the U.S. central bank where the Dhaka
bank has an account.
State-sponsored attacks refer to operations that include
direct nation-state activity and proxy activity carried out by
criminals and so-called hacktivists.
(Reporting by Angela Moon
Editing by Bill Berkrot)
© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.