Risk
8/3/2004
12:36 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Banking and Terror: Business As Usual?

Amid the sprawl of government contractors that ring Washington, D.C. lies an IBM facility that acts as a backup site for many of the nation's largest financial institutions. Not two weeks ago, I toured the facility during a media event arranged by Visa USA, which was showcasing its annual capacity-planning testing process in preparation for the holiday season.

Amid the sprawl of government contractors that ring Washington, D.C. lies an IBM facility that acts as a backup site for many of the nation's largest financial institutions. Not two weeks ago, I toured the facility during a media event arranged by Visa USA, which was showcasing its annual capacity-planning testing process in preparation for the holiday season.The highlight of the tour was the data center, a 105,000 square-foot hardened shell filled with processors and storage. Off to one side is a telecommunications room, containing what looks like a giant ventilation shaft coming through the wall, but which is in fact an ultra-high bandwidth pipeline connecting the banks to the IBM data center which, in the event of a disaster, would continue to process mortgage payments and credit-card transactions on up to to multibillion-dollar foreign exchange and interbank settlements, without so much as a hiccup. Other than its size, what struck me about the room was its solitude; not a person was present. When I asked our tour guide why, he said, "We don't want anyone in here." He said he'd had a deuce of a time persuading IBM to grant us clearance. I was lucky; if the visit had been scheduled this week, it almost certainly would have been canceled. Over the weekend, the Department of Homeland Security issued a terror alert raising the threat level for financial institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Washington. While the financial-services industry has tried to strike a "business as usual" posture, my hunch is that the data center, still quiet as ever, is humming with activity as banks test their emergency backup plans, for if ever an occasion warranted it, this is it. I've asked IBM if this is the case; it declined to comment. But it's a safe bet that the telecom pipe that connects into the sinews of American finance is bulging with information this week, if only as an exercise.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-1701
Published: 2015-04-21
Unspecified vulnerability in Microsoft Windows before 8 allows local users to gain privileges via unknown vectors, as exploited in the wild in April 2015.

CVE-2015-2041
Published: 2015-04-21
net/llc/sysctl_net_llc.c in the Linux kernel before 3.19 uses an incorrect data type in a sysctl table, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information from kernel memory or possibly have unspecified other impact by accessing a sysctl entry.

CVE-2015-2042
Published: 2015-04-21
net/rds/sysctl.c in the Linux kernel before 3.19 uses an incorrect data type in a sysctl table, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information from kernel memory or possibly have unspecified other impact by accessing a sysctl entry.

CVE-2015-0702
Published: 2015-04-20
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in the Custom Prompts upload implementation in Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8.6(1.9) allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code by using the languageShortName parameter to upload a file that provides shell access, aka Bug ID CSCus95712.

CVE-2015-0703
Published: 2015-04-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the administrative web interface in Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8.6(1.9) allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, aka Bug ID CSCus95857.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.