Risk
8/3/2004
12:36 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
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
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.