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Waking Shark II Shakes Firms in London

Financial institutions in London participated in Waking Shark II, a five-and-a-half-hour cyber exercise.

Banks and stock exchanges in London have participated in Waking Shark II, a cyber exercise with simulated attacks on financial markets from foreign governments, on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Bank of England, HM Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority, the UK financial institution regulator, oversaw the simulation.

“The exercise tested the communication between firms, between firms and authorities, and aimed to improve understanding of the impact of a cyber-attack on the participants and wider financial sector,” according to a release.

Designed by Credit Suisse, the exercise targeted IT systems and other vulnerable areas such as foreign exchange and derivatives trading. The simulation included over 100 financial institutions like Barclays, Bank of America and the London Stock Exchange. A report of the outcome is expected to be released early 2014.

According to The Guardian, the simulation occurred a few months before regulators are due to submit plan of action for cyber attacks to the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England.

The mock attack is similar to Quantum Dawn 2, a cyber exercise organized by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which occurred in NYC this summer. Both exercises are a result of the increased and complex attacks on financial institutions.

[ Read: Quantum Dawn 2: Where To Improve]

“Quantum Dawn 2 demonstrated the industry’s resiliency when faces with serious cyber attacks that aimed to steal money, crash systems and disrupt equity market trading,” says Judd Gregg, SIFMA’s CEO. “We hope this exercise will encourage Congress to pass legislation that promotes this sharing and other activities that will help out country more effectively mitigate cyber threats on the financial system.”

Quantum Dawn 2 focused on getting financial institutions to communicate in order to fight the attack. The simulation included issuing fake press releases on certain stock to drop prices, using distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack to disrupt government websites and corrupting source code used in financial applications. Zarna Patel is a staff writer for InformationWeek's Financial Services brands, which include Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology. She received her B.A. in English and journalism from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences in ... View Full Bio

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