Anonymous, an international network of hackers, recently pledged to take on the financial services industry in a 30-day cyberattack campaign called “Operation Icarus,” more commonly referred to online as #OpIcarus. While the information about the group’s plan is somewhat spotty, various videos (purportedly, the group’s very own) and news articles indicate that the group is targeting financial institutions because “banks have been getting away with legally stealing and ripping off citizens for far too long.” Some sources also specify targets, such as individual central banks and companies like PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and Nasdaq. However, it’s difficult to gauge the validity of these claims.
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Regardless of the details, there are a couple of things we can glean from Operation Icarus and Anonymous’ mission:
- It’s happening and we’re only in week two. According to American Banker, hackers started their protest by shutting down the Bank of Greece’s website, as well as Bank of Mexico’s. A quick search on Twitter surfaces many other victims of cyberattacks, including the Central Bank of Cyprus, Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the Dutch Central Bank, Central Bank of Maldives, and the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’re bound to see many more attacks. We need to keep an eye on the size and sophistication of these attacks, in order to be better prepared the next time around.
- Hackers, like Anonymous, bring big brand awareness to cybersecurity. That said, cyberattacks against financial institutions have long been around are only going to increase over time. It’s critical for all companies to have the strategy and technology in place to mitigate the risk of attack.
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