ECB prepares banks for possible Russian cyber attack
The European Central Bank (ECB) warns banks of the danger of cyber-attacks initiated by Russia. This is what two people with knowledge of the matter say to Reuters news agency. The ECB fears attacks from Russia in the context of rising tensions with Ukraine.
Regulators fear retaliation
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are also affecting the West. Europe’s political and business leaders fear an invasion that will damage the entire region, Reuters reports. The European Central Bank focused on “normal scams” during the pandemic, but the crisis in Ukraine has turned attention to cyber-attacks from Russia, one source said.
The European Central Bank is now alert to the threat of Russian cyberattacks on banks. The regulator is said to have already inquired with banks about their defence. Reuters source says banks are running cyber war games to test their ability to fend off an attack.
The United States is also preparing for action. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDF) issued a statement for financial institutions at the end of January. In it, the NYSDF warned of cyber-attacks from Russia in retaliation in the event that Russia invades Ukraine and triggers US sanctions, Reuters said.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) warned major organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity resilience amid mounting tensions over Ukraine.
Several countries send cyber experts to Ukraine
The West supports Ukraine in the conflict. At the end of December, the United States and Britain already sent cyberwarfare experts to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russia. Both countries call the aid defensive and say they support Ukrainian efforts to strengthen cyber defences and increase cyber resilience.
The Netherlands also offers assistance to Ukraine to help with the country’s cybersecurity. According to Prime Minister Rutte, Ukraine is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the Netherlands has a lot of expertise to counter such attacks. The Netherlands has therefore pledged to be prepared to send cybersecurity experts to Ukraine.
Hack previously shut down Ukrainian government websites
Earlier this year, several Ukrainian government websites were hit by a major cyber attack. After the attack, the websites read, among other things, “Be afraid and expect the worst”. According to Ukraine’s state security agency, SBU, there was evidence that the attack was linked to hacker groups with ties to Belarusian intelligence services.
Russian officials accuse the West of having Russophobia. The Kremlin has also repeatedly denied that the Russian state has anything to do with global hacking.
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