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World’s largest bank ICBC suffers hack, uses USB stick to trade

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest bank by deposits, suffered a cyberattack, which made it unable to clear U.S. Treasury trades. As a result, the bank had to send a messenger with a USB stick with the settlement details to the impacted parties, according to a report by Time.

A criminal organization targeted the bank with a ransomware attack that disrupted several services. The bank claims it isolated the impacted areas. Chinese banks have historically not been targeted by these attacks, as they usually demand a cryptocurrency ransom and China banned those transactions.

«It appears ICBC has had a less effective security, possibly because Chinese banks have not been tested as much as their Western counterparts in the past,» Mattias Wahlen, a threat intelligence specialist at Truesec, said in the report.

Ransomware attacks have been growing significantly, as analytics firm Chainalysis found $500 million in payments this year through the end of September, a 50% increase year-over-year.