KPMG: New Breed Of Cyber Attack Could Cripple Banks

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

British banks should watch out for fresh kinds of attacks as they can’t afford to suffer another systemic shock, KPMG says

If there is another systemic shock to the UK’s banks, it could come from a “new breed of cyber attack”, KPMG warned today.

UK banks saw a 12 percent rise in online account fraud last year, whilst revenge hits from hacktivists are growing, KPMG warned. It also said a massive systems outage could be another source of serious disruption to the sector, which has seen a period of relative calm thanks to returning profits.

“The world economy is showing signs of recovery, but it is modest and vulnerable and we cannot afford another shock
to the system,” said Richard McCarthy, UK head of capital markets, in the report.

“So effective, co-ordinated regulation alongside meaningful sustained reforms by banks is an absolutely essential combination.”

Bank finance © Paul Fleet Shutterstock 2012Breaking the banks

Major US banks have already felt the pain of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks carried out as part of Operation Ababil, thought to have been perpetrated by the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, who claim their only aim is to have the Innocence of Muslims video removed from YouTube.

TechWeekEurope was recently told the same group could soon turn its attention to European banks. HSBC and ING have already experienced serious disruption this year.

Meanwhile, malware continues to scoop up user logins and attackers attempt to breach banks’ own infrastructure in myriad ways.

“This has been building over the past year and if financial institutions haven’t already made security their top priority, they should do so immediately,” said Raj Samani, McAfee’ CTO in EMEA.

“Where Europe has been the primary target for financial fraud rings – such as Operation High Roller – in the past, McAfee’s research has found thefts are spreading outside Europe, including the United States and South America.”

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