G7 countries to simulate first cross-border cyber attack

PARIS — Leading Western industrial powers will for the first time jointly simulate a major cross-border cybersecurity attack on the financial sector next month, French officials said on Friday.

The exercise, organized by the French central bank under France’s presidency of the Group of Seven nations (G7), will be based on the scenario of a technical component widely used in the financial sector becoming infected with malware, said Nathalie Aufauvre, the Bank of France’s director general for financial stability.

Institutions such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England have already conducted such tests, but the June exercise will be the first across borders at the G7 level, Aufauvre told a cybersecurity conference at the bank.

“Cyber threats are proof that we need more multilateralism and more cooperation between our countries,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the conference.

Aufauvre said the three-day exercise aimed to demonstrate the cross-border effects of such an attack, and would involve 24 financial authorities from the seven countries, comprising central banks, market authorities and finance ministries.

Representatives of the private sector in France, Italy, Germany and Japan will also participate.

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