G20 leaders fret over ‘malicious’ bank attacks

Await October report.

The heads of G20 nations remain concerned at the potential for “malicious use of ICT” to disrupt the world’s financial systems.

In a declaration following the latest G20 summit in Germany, the leaders outlined a particular focus on reinforcing the resiliency of the global financial system.

“An open and resilient financial system grounded in agreed international standards is crucial to supporting sustainable growth,” they said.

“We will continue to closely monitor and, if necessary, address any emerging risks and vulnerabilities in the financial system.”

“Acknowledging that malicious use of ICT could endanger financial stability”, the G20 leaders said they would look to a “stocktake” by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) – established after the G20 summit on London in 2009 – for further advice and guidance.

The FSB report is expected to be released in October this year.

Though not specifically targeting financial institutions, a number of large corporations fell victim to the recent Petya/NotPetya malware attack.

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser believes its losses could top $171 million. Logistics companies Maersk and TNT were also hard hit.

On the finance front, it was reported in May that Russian cyber criminals used malware planted on Android mobile devices to steal from domestic bank customers and were planning to target European lenders before their arrest.

Hackers have also previously targeted the Swift financial messaging network to steal money from banks, including an infamous raid on a Bangladeshi institution.

Swift warned last year that such attacks were “here to stay”.

Aside from financial resiliency, the G20 also said it wanted to see digital divides worldwide closed, and a greater realisation of the benefits of digital technology.

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