Cyberattacks send banks scrambling
Although the Financial Supervisory Service said no customers reported any losses, financial institutions toughened their IT security systems as many companies have entered payroll periods for employees that extend through Monday.
Wednesday’s attacks, carried out by spreading malignant, virus-embedded software, or malware, disrupted operations of bank branches, Internet banking, ATMs and check card transactions for two hours.
KB Kookmin Bank, which didn’t suffer from a malicious code attack, has blocked employee access to external Web sites, such as portals Naver and Daum.
Woori Bank, which managed to shield its system against the Wednesday cyberattack, said it has separated its Internet access into internal-only and external-only networks and opened the internal network to employees. For departments where Internet excess is necessary, the bank allowed employees to use computers that run independently in each department.
Insurance firms and credit card companies also have tightened IT security, thoroughly checking the condition of firewalls and other measures.
“We have created our own defense system to guard against a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack and monitor it on a 24-hour basis,” said an employee at Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance yesterday. “We conduct simulation drills for hacker attacks once a year to check our security effectiveness and address any weakness of our system.”
Meanwhile, the FSS entered a 24-hour emergency monitoring process to promptly respond to a possible second round of attacks.
FSS Governor Choi Soo-hyun said the financial watchdog will have institutions spend more on IT security infrastructure and manpower.
“Networks of Shinhan Bank, Jeju Bank, NH Nonghyup Bank, Nonghyup Life Insurance, Nonghyup Property & Casualty Insurance were paralyzed Wednesday, but damaged networks were recovered two hours later, faster than precedents,” said Choi.
He said the FSS will examine whether banks are following standards for cybersecurity it created last year. They at least 5 percent of employees working in IT and at least 5 percent of those assigned to cybersecurity in the department. It also required financial institutions to allot 7 percent of IT budgets to beefing up cybersecurity.
By Kim Mi-ju [email@example.com]
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