Market watchdog warns on danger of cyber attack

August 24, 2014

Sam Fleming

A global watchdog has sounded the alarm about the growing danger of cyber attacks, on financial markets, warning that companies and regulators around the world need to address the “uneven” response to the threat of online assaults.

Greg Medcraft, chairman of the board of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco), predicted that the next big financial shock – or “black swan event” – will come from cyber space, following a succession of attacks on financial players.

He warned that there needed to be a more concerted effort to tackle cyber threats around the world as current approaches varied widely. “The feedback we have had from industry in discussions is that there is not a consistency in approach,” he said.

Recent big hacking attacks against US retailer Target, which had the credit card data of up to 40m shoppers stolen, and eBay – as well as the “Heartbleed” bug discovered in software used to secure two-thirds of the web – have exposed the vulnerability of websites to attack.