US Arm of China's Biggest Lender Hit by Ransomware Attack

Nov 10, 2023, 09:29 PM IST

US Arm of China's Biggest Lender Hit by Ransomware Attack

Harshit Sabarwal

All Images: Reuters/Pexels

Harshit Sabarwal

Malware Disrupts Trade in US Treasury Market

The US arm of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is China's biggest lender, was hit by a ransomware attack on Nov 9 which disrupted trades in the US Treasury market.

Attack Under Investigation

The US arm- ICBC Financial Services- said that it was investigating the attack and was making progress toward recovering from it. The Chinese foreign ministry said on Nov 10 that ICBC was striving to minimise the risk impact and losses after the attack.

Business as Usual at ICBC

Chinese foreign ministry ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that business remained normal at ICBC's head office and other branches across the world.

Lockbit Behind the Attack: Experts

Several ransomware experts and analysts said that an aggressive cybercrime gang named Lockbit was believed to be behind the hack. Lockbit's website on the Dark Web where it posts the names of its victims did not mention the Chinese lender. 

Limited Impact on Market

The ICBC said it successfully cleared trades executed on Nov 8 and repurchased agreements financing trades done on Nov 9. Curvature Securities, a repo at broker dealer, said the attack had a limited impact on the market. However, some market participants said trades going through ICBC were not settled due to the malware and affected market liquidity.