News Report Technology
November 10, 2023

Chinese Bank ICBC’s Services Disrupted by Cyberattackers Connected to Boeing Incident

Chinese Bank ICBC's Services Disrupted by Cyberattackers Connected to Boeing Incident

In a significant cybersecurity breach, the U.S. unit of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the world’s largest financial institutions, has fallen prey to a ransomware attack. The news coincides with ongoing efforts by U.S. authorities to curb the funding routes of ransomware gangs, emphasizing the persistent challenges in combating cybercrime.

The attack is believed to be orchestrated by the notorious Lockbit group, has resulted in disruptions to U.S. Treasury trades, compelling market participants to reroute transactions and prompting concerns about the broader implications for the financial sector.

According to several reports, cybercrime gang Lockbit is suspected to be behind the attack, although the group has not publicly named ICBC as a victim on its dark website as of the latest update. The same gang – just in the past year – also hit Boeing Co, ION Trading UK and the UK’s Royal Mail.

ICBC Financial Services, the targeted U.S. unit, has confirmed the ransomware attack, stating that it is actively investigating the incident and making progress towards system recovery.

Various cyber experts believe that the incident follows a trend of heightened brazenness by cybercriminals, who, with seemingly no fear of repercussions, target entities across various industries.

ICBC Isolates Affected Systems

ICBC has taken measures to isolate affected systems and claims to have successfully cleared Treasury trades executed before the attack.

However, the disruption has raised questions about the cybersecurity controls of major financial institutions and is expected to draw regulatory scrutiny. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) reportedly held discussions with its members about the incident, reflecting the potential market impact.

While the immediate impact on the market appears limited, traders have reported liquidity issues, and the incident has prompted some to question whether it contributed to the underwhelming outcome of a recent 30-year bond auction. The attack has necessitated manual processing of some trades, highlighting vulnerabilities in the financial system’s wiring and prompting urgent meetings at ICBC’s headquarters.

ICBC’s response includes considering seeking assistance from China’s Ministry of State Security to address potential risks to other units. This move underscores the severity of the attack and the potential ripple effects on the global financial system.

As the Securities and Exchange Commission works on proposals to enhance the resilience of the financial system, the ransomware attack serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for heightened cybersecurity measures and regulatory safeguards within the financial sector.

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About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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