Cyber Attacks Show Vulnerability of Digital Financial System
Cyber Attacks Show Vulnerability of Digital Systems and Digital Currencies
– Cyberattacks expected to spread today in “second phase”
– UK intelligence says scale of threat significant
— Microsoft slams NSA for letting hacking tools cause global malware epidemic
– Ransomware attack already crippled more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries
– 1.3 million computer systems believed to be at risk
– Europol warns many computer systems simply won’t start
– Businesses, banks and government agencies around world told to prepare
— Renault, FedEx among companies affected by cyber-attack
— Banks in China including ATMs were affected
— Hackers could shut down banks and cut off power and water supplies
— “Biggest threat to civilisation” since the Second World War — Cyber security expert
— Risks posed to digital deposits and digital wealth are the “new case for gold”
The threat posed by cyber attacks, cyber terrorism and cyber war to our increasingly complicated, technologically dependent financial system is something we have covered numerous times and becomes more clear by the day.
British and US agents have carried out mock cyber attack or ‘cyber war games’ on the Bank of England and commercial banks in the City of London and on Wall Street as part of tests on critical, but vulnerable financial infrastructure.
Should banks be hacked and customers deposit accounts compromised then the vista of potential bail ins becomes a real one. In June of 2015, JP Morgan Chase were hacked by unknown parties who stole the personal details of 83 million customers.
In July of 2014 Bloomberg reported that malware had been detected in the system of the Nasdaq exchange. Its purpose was unclear but it was believed to have been embedded there by Russian hackers.
There is also the alleged hacking of Sony Pictures by North Korea and the alleged hacking of Facebook, Instagram and Tinder. In 2012, Iran is alleged to have devastated the computer network of Saudi Aramco in a similar attack.
We can see a panorama of human activities which grow more vulnerable as hackers and cyber-warfare grow more sophisticated.
Banks have been hacked, stock exchanges have been hacked and critical infrastructure have been hacked in recent years. It is likely that many of these small scale attacks have been merely testing of defenses.
A concerted attack on the western financial system would likely include attempts at disabling various exchanges including stock markets and foreign exchange markets. Banks could be attacked in such a way that ATMs and wire transfers are disabled and bank balances, which are merely digital figures, could be erased.
In such an environment, our modern world, which is so dependent on technology and the monetary system, would be economically paralysed. The primary wealth would longer be primarily digital — cash, stocks and bonds — and tangible wealth would become more important.
Tangible assets include gold and silver bullion, agricultural land, water and property. We are not predicting such an outcome. We are simply looking at the facts as they are, in the context of intense geopolitical tensions, and surmising that it would be prudent to take necessary precautions and diversify into physical gold.