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G7 countries to simulate cross-border cyber attack next month - France

Reuters logo Reuters 10/05/2019
a close up of a computer: FILE PHOTO: Man types on computer keyboard in this illustration picture © Reuters/Kacper Pempel FILE PHOTO: Man types on computer keyboard in this illustration picture

PARIS (Reuters) - Leading Western industrial powers will for the first time jointly simulate a major cross-border cybersecurity attack on the financial sector next month, French officials said on Friday.

a man holding a sign: FILE PHOTO:  French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris © Reuters/BENOIT TESSIER FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris

The exercise, organised by the French central bank under France's presidency of the Group of Seven nations (G7), will be based on the scenario of a technical component widely used in the financial sector becoming infected with malware, said Nathalie Aufauvre, the Bank of France's director general for financial stability.

a person sitting in a box: FILE PHOTO: An employee sits next to a payment terminal out of order at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day, in Kiev © Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko FILE PHOTO: An employee sits next to a payment terminal out of order at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day, in Kiev

Institutions such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England have already conducted such tests, but the June exercise will be the first across borders at the G7 level, Aufauvre told a cybersecurity conference at the bank.

"Cyber threats are proof that we need more multilateralism and more cooperation between our countries," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the conference.

Aufauvre said the three-day exercise aimed to demonstrate the cross-border effects of such an attack, and would involve 24 financial authorities from the seven countries, comprising central banks, market authorities and finance ministries.

Representatives of the private sector in France, Italy Germany and Japan will also participate.

The financial sector is the most common target of cyber attacks, accounting for 19 percent of the total, according to a recent study by IBM.

Many countries have in recent years stepped up oversight of banks and insurers' capacity to respond.

However, financial regulators in countries such as France and Germany say that requirements in some countries outside the G7 are less onerous, creating an incentive for firms to move operations there to cut costs.

a circuit board: FILE PHOTO: Cables and computers are seen inside a data centre at an office in the heart of the financial district in London © Reuters/Dylan Martinez FILE PHOTO: Cables and computers are seen inside a data centre at an office in the heart of the financial district in London

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Richard Lough and Kevin Liffey)

FILE PHOTO: Man holds laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture © Reuters/Kacper Pempel FILE PHOTO: Man holds laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture a hand holding a cell phone: FILE PHOTO: A message demanding money is seen on a monitor of a payment terminal at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day, in Kiev © Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko FILE PHOTO: A message demanding money is seen on a monitor of a payment terminal at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day, in Kiev
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