Banks Are Trying to Hack Themselves Today in Cyber-Attack War Game

By Gary Cutlack on at

Around 40 of the UK's largest banks and financial institutions are having a bit of a fun afternoon of hacking today, with the Bank of England leading a simulated cyber-attack on the financial industry to see what happens. Or what might happen.

The Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority are joining in too, with the "sector resilience exercise" designed to deal with the aftermath of what it calls a "major cyber incident" that seriously disrupts one or more elements of the financial system. Like, for example, when they hack a payments processor and no one gets to feel cool tapping their card reader to pay in Greggs, and the nation has no lunch.

It's probably going to prove nothing, though, according to a reformed hacker who now works within industry on shoring-up digital defences. Robert Schifreen told the BBC it's little more than a rehearsed jolly, saying: "It's going to be a nice Friday, everyone's cleared their diary, everyone knows what's going to happen, and it doesn't normally happen like this. When you get hacked, it's probably going to be on a Sunday afternoon, half the people you need to contact are going to be away on holiday and haven't told you what their contact numbers are, so it's not realistic, but it's great to see them doing something." [BofE via BBC]

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