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    Belgium’s central bank to hack local financial institutions

    Belgium’s central bank is going to hack local banks in a bid to help them fend off cyber attacks. The National Bank of Belgium has announced it will test the ability of local financial institutions to withstand hacking attempts by performing tests that simulate cyber attacks by using the tactics, techniques and procedures employed by real hackers.

    In May of this year, the European Central Bank greenlit a legal framework for this type of controlled cyber hacking aimed at testing the resilience of financial institutions.

    “We are seeing that the risks associated with cyber attacks continue to increase. Millions of dollars were for instance stolen when the Central Bank of Bangladesh was attacked two years ago,” National Bank of Belgium president Tim Hermans told the Trends financial weekly.

    He added that the Belgian central bank’s hacking attempts would primarily focus on market infrastructures such as Swift and Euroclear, which are used to process most bank payments. “If something were to happen with them, this would be catastrophical,” he said.

    The tests against cyber attacks will cost €150,000 per test, a cost that will be carried by the financial institutions themselves.

    Linda A. Thompson
    The Brussels Times