Spread of Cyber Financial Crimes Demands Better Answers

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The numbers are staggering, yet only the tip of the iceberg. More than 145 million American citizens are affected by the Equifax data breach disclosed last month; that’s more than half of the American adult population. At the same time, this is only the latest in a series of cyber incidents targeting financial institutions carried out by criminal as well as state-sponsored hackers.

Victims include private institutions like Equifax as well as government agencies, illustrated by the recent hack of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The incidents range from data breaches to more disruptive and destructive activities that have become a national and international security concern. In fact, James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, recently revealed that the U.S. government even considered retaliatory cyber attacks against the Iranian hackers accused of being responsible for the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks targeting financial institutions in the U.S. in 2012, but did not do so for fear of a counterattack.

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