American Banks -- large and small -- are primed and ready for an elaborate simulated cyber attack today christened "Quantum Dawn 2" that will test how they would manage if teams of hackers unleashed a powerful and co-ordinated attack against them. A successful, widespread attack on the industry would end up shaking confidence in the banking system, and the possibility has banks and regulators more on edge now than ever before.
Quantum Dawn 2: Simulated Cyber Attack
JPMorgan and many of its peers like Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo have signed up for Thursday's drill, which is being organised by Wall Street's biggest trade group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or SIFMA. About 50 banks and organisations will participate, including government agencies like the US Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
During the drill, bank employees will be stationed at their normal offices, and will be blasted throughout the day with bits of information through multiple channels that could indicate an encroaching hacker attack. They'll monitor a simulated stock exchange for irregular trading and will be pressed to figure out what's going on and how to react while sharing information with regulators and each other.
The original "Quantum Dawn" drill was in November 2011, and it attracted little attention and only about half as many participants. But that was before a wave of cyberattacks last autumn, when big banks were forced to temporarily shut down their websites after attackers bombarded them with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks -- similar to overwhelming a phone line with too many calls -- with devastating consequences.
Watch this space. Observe what happens. Listen, learn and share.
By DK Matai
Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA) & The Philanthropia
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ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.
The Philanthropia, founded in 2005, brings together over 1,000 leading individual and private philanthropists, family offices, foundations, private banks, non-governmental organisations and specialist advisors to address complex global challenges such as countering climate chaos, reducing radical poverty and developing global leadership for the younger generation through the appliance of science and technology, leveraging acumen and finance, as well as encouraging collaboration with a strong commitment to ethics. Philanthropia emphasises multi-faith spiritual values: introspection, healthy living and ecology. Philanthropia Targets: Countering climate chaos and carbon neutrality; Eliminating radical poverty -- through micro-credit schemes, empowerment of women and more responsible capitalism; Leadership for the Younger Generation; and Corporate and social responsibility.
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