Warner urges Obama to raise financial cybersecurity at G-20 summit

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and co-founder of the bipartisan Cybersecurity Caucus, and five of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama urging him to prioritize cyberattacks on financial institutions in discussions at the upcoming G-20 summit in September and help develop a global strategy to counter these threats.

Last February, hackers stole $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international financial messaging service.

“If we are to successfully combat sophisticated cyberattacks, members of the international community must work collaboratively given the dispersed nature of both attackers and targets.  Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce, but cyber criminals – whether independent or state-sponsored – imperil this international system in a way few threats have,” wrote the Senators. “We strongly urge you to work with your counterparts and prioritize this discussion at the G-20 leaders level in September.”

In addition to Warner, the letter was signed by Senator Gary Peters (MI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Martin Heinrich (NM), and Debbie Stabenow (MI). The Senators also addressed the additional benefits of a long-term, global approach to combatting cyberattacks on financial institutions.

“Global coordination on these issues will serve a dual purpose. We will be able to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities in our shared financial system thereby safeguarding the integrity of our international financial system and the health of our economies,” they wrote. “We will also improve collaboration in and among the international law enforcement and financial regulatory communities and better enable them to pursue counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering agendas.”

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