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 minimize 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. It featured several types of attacks that impacted global foreign exchange and bond markets, liquidity, integrity of data and transactions between importers and exporters.
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.
Participants 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.
Narration in the film included a scenario such as: “The banks are appealing for emergency liquidity assistance in a multitude of currencies to put a halt to the chaos as counterparties withdraw their funds and limit access to liquidity leaving the banks in disarray and ruin.”
Some of the participants said in a real cyber attack situation governments would take action more quickly than in the simulation: One European financial official said: “As soon as the supply of money were hampered, at least in the European Union, we would probably have an emergency meeting on the same day.”