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Ransomware attack disrupts Treasury market trades

BEIJING (AP) – A financial services business of China’s biggest bank says it was hit by a ransomware attack that reportedly disrupted trading in the United States Treasury market.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Financial Services handles trades and other services for financial institutions. A statement on its website seen yesterday said the ransomware attack this week disrupted some of its systems but that it had disconnected parts of the affected systems to limit the impact from the attack.

The company, which is based in New York, said it was investigating and had reported the problem to law enforcement.

All Treasury trades executed Wednesday and repo financing trades on Thursday were cleared, it said. It said ICBC’s banking, email and other systems were not affected.

The company gave no further details but reports said the attack was by LockBit, a ransomware syndicate that does not target former Soviet countries. It is one of the most efficient ransomware variants around, according to the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Active since September 2019, it has attacked thousands of organisations.

Bank tellers sit in a branch office of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AP