G20 protests: Don't be paranoid but prepare for cyber attack, say analysts

Banks and other large businesses have been advised to make sure their IT infrastructure is well protected ahead of protests during this week’s G20 summit of world leaders.

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Banks and other large businesses have been advised to make sure their IT infrastructure is well protected ahead of protests during this week’s G20 summit of world leaders.

The summit, being held in London this week and hosting leaders including US president Barack Obama, will be targeted by thousands of protesters campaigning against financial greed and the collapse of the banking system.

While police eyes will be on protesters taking to the streets in the City, Canary Wharf and other parts of London, dedicated protesters could also organise attacks on the IT infrastructure of banks and other large firms, to cause damage or at least embarrassment, analysts told Computerworld UK.

For John Kindervag, senior analyst at Forrester Research, there are two main IT threats facing banks this week: defacing of their websites and wireless network intrusion.

“As a bank, I would seriously be thinking about turning off my wireless network this week, especially if I can’t be sure I’ve completely locked it down,” he said. “Look at the TJX hack, that’s how the cybercriminals got onto the network - wirelessly.”

Banks would be wise to watch their websites carefully too, he said. “It’s relatively easy to get onto a website and find the vulnerabilities,” he said. “There’s a real danger of people doing a SQL injection, or even simply defacing your website to cause embarrassment on the day.”

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