Hackers Force ICBC To Rely on USB Stick to Settle Trades

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Engineers are looking into how hackers broke into the New York branch of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), a financial institution with $5.74 trillion in assets.

According to Bloomberg, the intrusion prompted the ICBC to settle trades using a USB stick while forcing banks, brokerages, and market makers to reroute trades.

The hack also prevented the bank from participating in the Treasury’s bond auction on Thursday.

Investigators suspect the attack was carried out by the ransomware gang Lockbit, which has ties to Russia.

Without naming names, Bloomberg reports that banking executives acknowledge the hack raises concerns that a system-wide attack could one day bring the traditional financial system to a standstill.

“The incident spotlights a danger that bank leaders concede keeps them up at night — the prospect of a cyberattack that could someday cripple a key piece of the financial system’s wiring, setting off a cascade of disruptions.”

Read Also: China’s Largest Bank’s US Branch Suffers Ransomware LockBit Attack

According to the ICBC, it is evaluating whether to seek assistance from China’s Ministry of State Security.

According to a survey from the cybersecurity firm Sophos, the incidence of ransomware assaults on the financial industry has increased in recent years.

“According to the 2023 survey, the rate of ransomware attacks in financial services is increasing.” It increased from 55% in the 2022 report to 64% in this year’s assessment, nearly doubling the sector’s 34% in the 2021 report. Despite an increase in attack rate, it was lower than the cross-sector average of 66%.”

According to Sophos, financial institutions are increasing their security measures.

According to the firm’s poll of 3,000 cybersecurity/IT leaders, 336 of whom work in the financial services sector, 81% of firms indicate their data is encrypted, a 50% increase over the previous year.

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