Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ABTV

11/8/2019
10:15 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

'Quantum Dawn' Raid as Financial Industry Simulates Global Ransomware Attack

Financial institutions in Asia, the US and the UK are put through their paces.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has just completed its simulation of a global-wide cybersecurity event focusing on the finance sector that had a code name of "Quantum Dawn."

This is the fifth QD event that has been run, but the current exercise was the first to have a global scope. The event was designed to simulate a widespread ransomware attack that crumbled large financial institutions in Asia, the US and UK.

CNBC reported that according to Thomas Price, who is a managing director at SIFMA, 800 participants from large banks, regulators and other financial firms from 12 countries joined the simulated cyber attack by conference call starting at 7 a.m. Thursday.

SIFMA's counterparts in Asia and Europe were also participating in this QD.

The simulation started with a big unnamed US company which is one of the "systemically important financial institutions" designated as "too big to fail" by regulators, falling to a ransomware attack. Timed after the close of the stock market, the institution was "attacked" by malicious ransomware and knocked totally offline, according to Price.

Price went on to describe that after the initial occurrence a number of questions were generated from the participants in attendance. There was also a discussion of rules about public disclosure of the incident and how the wider financial industry would coordinate and share information.

While the US was trying to deal with the first big outage, the same disruptive malware was assumed to affect another huge institution, this time in Asia. The Asian institution was also taken offline in the simulation.

After that step, the event posited that a UK institution fell to the same malware, and was simulated to be offline as well. Price was reported to say that representatives from the Bank of England and the UK’s Treasury were involved in the event by describing their role in the escalating, global attack.

Finally, QD ended with the ransomware migrating back to the US. There, it impacted a financial market utility. To make matters really hurt, it was one of the organizations that are responsible for facilitating payment and settlement activity in the US. Participants described at this point how available mitigation efforts could aid in keeping the funds flowing as well as the affected accounts settling.

Price said the QD participants were primarily focused on communications. Some of that effort was focused on how companies communicate internally to their own executives and employees and externally to their clients.

Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb, commented on the exercise in a prepared statement.

"This a laudable idea, other countries and industries shall definitely follow the example," he said. "I would, however, expand the scenario and consider breaches of trusted third-parties and governmental authorities. A large-scale ransomware attack, even if well-prepared and aimed against major financial institutions, is much less perilous than a campaign simultaneously targeting market regulators, news agencies and law enforcement agencies."

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.
CVE-2020-27774
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/statistic.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of a too large shift for 64-bit type `ssize_t`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but co...
CVE-2020-27775
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/quantum.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type unsigned char. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but c...