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G-7 authorities to war game cyber attack on bank for first time

(Bloomberg) --Financial watchdogs are preparing one of the broadest war-gaming exercises to test the effect of a cyber attack that disables a large international bank for days.

The simulation, slated for the next couple of weeks, is the first cross-border exercise of its kind and is being prepared by a group of 23 financial authorities set up by the Group of Seven nations. The Cyber Expert Group’s exercise will test financial authorities’ ability to coordinate during a wide-scale disruption that takes down the operations of a healthy bank, Nick Strange, Bank of England director of supervisory risk specialists, said on Tuesday.

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A ransomware demand for the payment of $300 worth of bitcoin sits on the screen of an Apple Inc. Macbook Air laptop infected by the 'Petya' computer virus inside an electronics store in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The cyberattack similar to WannaCry began in Ukraine Tuesday, infecting computer networks and demanding $300 in cryptocurrency to unlock their systems before spreading to different parts of the world. Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

“The growth of cyber threats has shown us that firms may well be unable to provide the business services we all depend on for prolonged periods without they themselves being at risk of failing,” Strange said in a speech to a conference on risk.

A decade after the crisis that produced scores of regulations making banks stronger financially, regulators are increasingly focusing on the industry’s ability to handle big operational problems such as hacks into their computer systems.