IMF, 10 Countries Simulate Cyber Attack on Global Financial System


Israel on Thursday led a 10-country simulation of a major cyber attack on the global financial system in an attempt to increase cooperation that could help to minimise any potential damage to financial markets and banks.

The simulated cyber attack evolved over 10 days, with sensitive data emerging on the Dark Web along with fake news reports that ultimately caused chaos in global markets and a run on banks.

The simulation featured several types of attacks that impacted global foreign exchange and bond markets, liquidity, integrity of data and transactions between importers and exporters.

“These events are creating havoc in the financial markets,” said a narrator of a film shown to the participants as part of the simulation and seen by Reuters.

Israeli government officials said that such threats are possible in the wake of the many high profile cyber attacks on large companies, and that the only way to contain any damage is through global cooperation since current cyber security is not always strong enough.

“Attackers are 10 steps ahead of the defender,” Micha Weis, financial cyber manager at Israel’s Finance Ministry, told Reuters.

Participants in the initiative, called “Collective Strength”, included treasury officials from Israel, the United States, the UK, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Thailand, as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements.

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