Cyber attacks threaten UK national security and financial reputation

The recent cyber attack on Tesco Bank represents a threat to the UK’s national security and financial reputation, warned interior minister Amber Rudd.

Cyber attacks undermining public confidence

At a conference hosted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Rudd said that incidents such as the recent theft of money from Tesco Bank accounts have undermined public confidence in financial institutions.

The Tesco Bank hack is the most recent in a string of cyberscriminal attacks made over the past year.

“The recent example of Tesco Bank is a stark example of what we face,” Rudd was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“Public confidence in our institutions get shaken by these sort of events,” Rudd added.

She stressed that the UK cannot afford to be seen as a spot for dirty money.

“Money laundering still poses a real threat both to the UK’s international reputation and integrity of our world leading financial centre,” Rudd said.

Tesco cyber attack netted £2.5 million

Online fraudsters stole £2.5 million from Tesco Bank customers last weekend. The attack affected a total of 9,000 to 20,000 accounts.

The National Cyber Security Centre along with the National Crime Agency are working with Tesco Bank to provide “direct assistance to the company at their request, including on-site assistance.”

Benny Higgins, Tesco Bank chief executive, said: “Our first priority throughout this incident has been protecting and looking after our customers and we’d again like to apologise for the worry and inconvenience this issue has caused.

“We’ve now refunded all customer accounts affected by fraud and lifted the suspension of online debit transactions so that customers can use their accounts as normal. We’d also like to reassure our customers that none of their personal data has been compromised.”

Video – What is cyber security?

Cyber security, which we can write as one or two words (also: cybersecurity), refers to protecting computer systems and sensitive data, and preventing hackers and digital attacks. Cyber, which is either a prefix or adjective, includes anything characteristic of or related to computers, software, virtual reality, and some other IT items.