The Bank of Spain’s website has been temporarily disrupted since Sunday (Aug. 26) due to a cyberattack. According to Reuters, the bank said that the attack has not effected the bank’s services or its communications with the European Central Bank or other institutions. It added that there was no risk of a data breach.
“It is a denial-of-service [DoS] attack that intermittently affects access to our website, but it has had no effect on the normal functioning of the entity,” a bank spokesman said.
Bank of Spain is just the latest financial institution (FI) hit with a cyberattack. In May, for example, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) announced that hackers stole data on close to 90,000 customers. That same month, three banks in Mexico were the victims of an attempted cyberattack that aimed to gain access to the country’s electronic payment systems.
Earlier this year, Russian bank officials revealed that hackers lifted over 1 billion roubles ($17 million USD) from the country’s banks in 2017 using the Cobalt Strike security testing tool. In 2016, the hacker group Anonymous went after eight central banks, including the Dutch Central Bank, the Bank of Greece and the Bank of Mexico.
There was at least $445 billion lost last year due to cybercrime, and with the attacks only expected to increase, banks are taking a military approach to their online security. There are now at least a dozen centers created at major financial institutions like Citigroup and Wells Fargo, as well as regional banks like Bank of the West, to fight off cyberattacks. In addition, Fifth Third Bank is building a center in its Cincinnati headquarters, and Visa — which created its first two years ago in Virginia — is developing two more in Britain and Singapore.
Fighting off cyberthreats has become priority one for banks, with Visa’s CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. telling investors that he is “completely paranoid” about it. Bank of America’s CEO Brian T. Moynihan said his cybersecurity team is “the only place in the company that doesn’t have a budget constraint.”