Top American lawmakers have urged US President Barack Obama to prioritise cyber-attacks on financial institutions in discussions at the upcoming G-20 summit in China and help develop a global strategy to counter these threats.
“We strongly urge you to work with your counterparts and prioritise this discussion at the G-20 leaders level in September,” the Senators wrote.
Signed by six Senators, the letter to Obama reads that the “international community” must work together to “combat” such attacks, as financial institutions are now connected globally through internet.
“If we are to successfully combat sophisticated cyber-attacks, members of the international community must work collaboratively given the dispersed nature of both attackers and targets. Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce,” the letter read.
The Senators wrote that cyber criminals – whether independent or state-sponsored – imperil this international system.
The letter was signed by Senator Mark Warner,member of the Senate Finance Committee, including Gary Peters, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin Heinrich and Debbie Stabenow.
The Senators also pointed out benefits that can come up after such discussions with the international community.
“This will address cyber-security vulnerabilities in shared financial system thereby safeguarding the integrity of international financial system,” they wrote.
“We will also improve collaboration in and among the international law enforcement and financial regulatory communities and better enable them to pursue counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering agendas,” the letter said.
Last year, in February, hackers stole USD 81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international financial messaging service.