Wall Street preps Quantum Dawn 2 cyber-attack drill

Wall Street preps Quantum Dawn 2 cyber-attack drill

Wall Street is girding itself for Quantum Dawn 2, a simulated cyber-attack designed to test banks' readiness for an assault from hackers.

Organised by trade association Sifma, Quantum Dawn 2 will take place on 28 June, testing the US financial services industry's ability to cope with a coordinated market-wide cyber-attack.

According to Reuters, around 40 firms - including industry giants such as BofA and Citi - have paid to participate in the exercise, which will see staffers forced to react to attacks on simulated trading and information platforms.

Each firm will send someone from business continuity, someone from information security, and someone from operations whose job is to keep trading, settlement and clearance running during market crises. Participants from the different firms will communicate with each other via e-mail and phone.

The first Quantum Dawn drill took place in 2011 and involved armed gunmen "trying to gain entry to the exchanges and really just try to blow things up," Sifma's Karl Schimmeck, told Reuters.

The financial services industry has found itself a prime target for cyber-attacks over the last couple of years. A host of major US banks have seen their Web sites disrupted by concerted DDoS attacks by a group believed to be linked to Iran, while the Anonymous collective has made its own moves in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement and whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.

Says a Sifma statement: "We expect this exercise to improve the readiness of sector as a whole to respond to a street-wide cyber-attack and allow each participating firm to test their internal coordination mechanisms and processes to maintain business resiliency."

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