The President of the United States has been urged by senators to consider cyber crime as an important topic for discussion during the G20 summit to be held in Hangzhou, China, this coming weekend. This is after a recent robbery took place in the Central Bank of Bangladesh earlier this year where $81 million was stolen. As such we preview certain Internet Security ETFs for investors to consider from our ETF Heat Map screener and database:
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The six senators who sent this request in a letter urged president Obama to push the other world leaders who will be present at the summit to make a commitment and come up with synchronized plan of action on how to fight this crime especially with a key focus on how cyber crime impacts financial institutions and global commerce.
The letter which was addressed on Monday speaks about the incident that took place in February whereby hackers compromised Bangladesh Bank’s system and requested around $1 billion dollars using the SWIFT banking system. This heist was committed on an account maintained at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Furthermore, it was discovered that most of this money was laundered through in Casinos in the Philippines.
SWIFT is a well-protected messaging service used by banks to send and receive money from all over the world; however, recent actions taken by SWIFT since the Bangladesh incident that involved criminals requesting over $1 billion and successfully stealing $81 million in funds has been deemed inadequate.
Gary Peters, Senator of Michigan together with his other democratic colleagues mentioned in the letter to the U.S. President that the global interconnection of financial institutions was important because it made global commerce a reality. However, virtual criminals take advantage and jeopardize this system at a rate that has never been experienced before.
They therefore pleaded with President Obama to push this agenda at the summit citing it as a priority for the September G-20 leaders’ summit, which is attended by leaders of the 20 biggest performing economies globally.
Senators urged that this is a discussion that should be given attention not only in central banks and finance ministries but also in such gatherings made up of the executive world leaders at the G20. A copy letter was also sent to Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Federal Reserve and Jack Lew, the secretary of the U.S. treasury.
The white house did not give comments about the letter but Josh Earnest, the Spokesman said in a press conference that he is also looking forward to having this issue of cyber security put on the agenda when President Obama and Xi JinPig, the President of China and host of this year’s G20 Summit, meet next week on September 4th and 5th.
A senior White House official also affirmed that they are looking forward to the G20 agenda being confirmed, and the challenges posed by cyber crime to be discussed at the summit. He hopes that the other countries will commit themselves in rebuilding trust and confidence in digital financial transactions, and ensure cyber security is enhanced to pave way for the growth of the digital economy which has become a target for malicious cyber attacks.
At a summit in November 2015, the G20 members promised not to engage in economically driven cyber spying. This accord was meant to reduce the theft and spying initiatives on commercial trade secrets worth hundreds of billions of dollars which some experts argue where embezzled by governments with an agenda of benefiting their own countries’ industries.
The Bangladesh bank theft and other such attacks are just a few of the cyber security threats reported in the main stream media while many other cyber attack incidents taking place on governments and international corporations remaining unreported. The U.S. senators therefore urged the world leaders to put up more aggressive defenses and mutual systems aimed at preventing and alleviating the consequences of these attacks in addition to the very limited and potentially insufficient measures that have already been put in place by SWIFT in the global digital economy.