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Cyber attacks increase for financial services industry

Government warns of increasing DDoS frequency

In the third quarter of 2015, the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) trends report numbers were at the highest quarterly levels in the last two years, with the financial and payments sector representing 15% of all Verisign mitigations, according to Verisign. Per Credit Union Times:

Earlier this week, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued a statement, “Cyber Attacks Involving Extortion,” alerting financial institutions of the increasing frequency and severity of this particular breed of cyber attacks.

Cybercriminals and activists used a variety of strategies, including ransomware, distributed denial of service, and theft of sensitive business and customer information to extort payment or other concessions from victims, according to the alert. In some cases, these attacks had significant effects on businesses’ access to data and ability to provide services. Some businesses suffered serious damage through the release of sensitive information.

One of the bigger DDoS cases to hit housing turned out to not be true.

Back in March 2014, the loan origination system for Ellie Mae (ELLI) stopped working. The outage took place on March 31, just as lenders were trying to finish closing their loans for the month.

The outage of Encompass360, Ellie Mae’s LOS, was originally thought to be the result of cyber attack. But as it turns out, further investigation revealed that it wasn’t.

The company, a leading provider of on-demand automated solutions for the residential mortgage industry, announced that after investigating the outage, it determined that the cause of the outage was not a malicious attack but rather due to a “confluence of factors involving network, hardware, software and demand for service.”

But, still, the false alarm was still an alarm for mortgage finance companies, nonetheless.

When asked about escalated risk priorities for 2016 for a recent survey by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, 66% of industry respondents cited cybersecurity as their top concern. Increased cybersecurity anxiety was followed by regulatory change management (49%), third-party risk (30%), and fair lending compliance (29%) as top levels of concern.

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