European Central Bank confirms hack, shuts down website

Cyberattack Reuters

Headquartered in Germany, European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that they were hit by a cyberattack and then infected with malicious software which led them to eventually shutdown one of their websites on Thursday, August 15.

As per ECB, the malware has been injected on the server hosting the site and it might have stolen email addresses, names and titles of the subscribers of the (Banks' Integrated Reporting Dictionary) BIRD newsletter, but it failed to steal market-sensitive data.

A spokesman for ECB said the earliest evidence of the attack dated back to December 2018 which means it remained undetected until the maintenance work. In addition, ECB mentioned that it is currently taking the required protection measure and contacting people whose data may have affected due to the malware attack.

"The breach succeeded in injecting malware onto the external server to aid phishing activities," said ECB.

In recent years, many banks were targeted by the hackers but till now world's biggest cyberattack took place in 2016 when cybercriminals stole $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh's account at the New York Fed.

In June, an official at the Bank of England (BoE), Anil Kashyap, stated while addressing a UK parliamentary committee that banks would struggle to protect themselves from a cyber attack that could cripple their records over a few months. He added that it is just "a matter of time" before the hackers launch their mission.

He said that banks' cybersecurity measures have mostly concentrated and concerned about preventing service outages than paying attention to probable attacks that seek to falsify records or access data illegally.