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Bank of England to oversee hacking

25 Apr 2014

The computer systems of 20 major banks are to be targeted by hired hackers to assess their defences against cyber-crime.

Ethical hackers, also known as ‘white hats’, will be asked by the Bank of England to access the computer systems of the banks and financial leaders, after the ‘Heartbleed’ bug was discovered to be one of the biggest ever security flaws since the internet has existed.

Those on the list to be tested reportedly include the Royal Bank of Scotland as well as the London Stock Exchange. The Bank of England has said that online security is an important consideration for all financial institutions.

Scenarios will involve replication of the tactics used by known online terrorists and cyber criminals. In 2013, almost two dozen financial institutions in the UK took part in an exercise to simulate their response to an online terrorist attack. The simulation was known as Waking Shark II.

Reports indicate that a pilot of the initiative has already taken place. Companies are encouraged to remember that they must report any cyber-crime to law enforcement officials as well as their own regulators.