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Cyber-attacks ‘more aggressive’ – ECB member
(Pic: Shuterstock)

17 Jan 2024 / regulation Print

Cyber-attacks ‘more aggressive’ – ECB member

A member of the executive board of the European Central Bank (ECB) has warned that cyber-risks are coming “ever closer” to the core of the financial system.

Piero Cipollone was speaking in Frankfurt as he chaired a meeting of the Euro Cyber Resilience Board (ECRB), a forum set up to discuss cyber-risks to financial-markets infrastructure.

Cipollone also said that cyber-attacks were becoming more aggressive, with an increasing number that attempted to disrupt services, or gain unauthorised access to data and services.

‘Global threat’

He cited recent ransomware attacks, such as one aimed at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China that disrupted trades in the US treasury market.
He added that this demonstrated the need for international co-operation against such attacks, which he described as “a global threat”.

The ECB member spoke about the role of crypto-assets as the payment method requested by ransomware attackers, adding that countering ransomware would also require developing effective crypto-asset seizure regimes.

He also urged financial entities need to put “robust risk-management practices” in place to account for their increasing use of outsourcing, and their high dependence on third-party service providers.

AI opportunities

On artificial intelligence (AI), Cipollone said that it provided opportunities to improve cyber-resilience, but also challenges.

“For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) can be used for sophisticated cyber-attacks, with malicious actors leveraging its potential for social engineering, reconnaissance and exploitation,” he warned.

The ECB member added, however, that AI could also support threat intelligence in collecting and analysing data, and could identify anomalies in user, system, and network behaviours in real time.

Gazette Desk
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