Cyber experts and CEOs fear retaliatory ransomware attacks on big US banks following the adoption of tough sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine.
The United States and its allies attempted to prevent some Russian banks from utilising the SWIFT international payment system and imposed restrictions on the Russian central bank’s abroad holdings, heightening tensions between the two countries. The SWIFT network (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a global financial network that allows money to flow freely and swiftly across international borders.
SWIFT processes more than 40 million communications every day, facilitating the movement of trillions of dollars between businesses and governments. The Belgian-based processing system connects 11,000 major lenders and financial institutions from more than 200 countries.
For weeks, Western governments have warned that rising tensions might result in deadly ransomware assaults by Russia or its sympathisers. According to cyber security experts, global banks are beefing up network monitoring, conducting hacking drills, deep-scanning their networks for threats, and staffing up in case hostile activity spikes.
They’re preparing for a variety of threats, including ransomware assaults from Russia.