NatWest was hit by a cyber attack that left customers unable to garner access to their online bank accounts. The United Kingdom bank was reportedly the target of a distributed denial of servie (DOS) attack, according to the Mirror. A statement released by the bank maintains that the cyber warfare posed "no risk" to its customers.
The cyber attack began with a multitude of deliberate internet traffic that prompted the online service offered by NatWest to fail. A spokesman for the financial institution noted in a release to both customers and the media that some appropriate action has been taken to restore activity to the affected websites.
Cyber warfare is one of the top five concerns for the insurance industry, according to a new Towers Watson survey. Insurance executives from around the globe reportedly consider cyber attacks among the most extreme risks which could rattle the world to its core.
The insurance industry is also significantly concerned about a global pandemic and natural disasters, the Towers Watson review revealed. Most of the man-made and natural disasters insurers worry about, are the same topics on the minds of the more than three million preppers in the United States.
Cyber warfare was ranked above an economic collapse or banking crisis in the insurance industry survey. A global pandemic was the top worry for the industry. According to the results, the "extreme risk" most on the minds of the industry involved a worldwide pandemic that would spread a fatal disease around the world and significantly impact crops, people, and animals. A growing number of folks consider bee colony collapse disorder and the shrinking honeybee population a major concern that would also impact people, plants, and animals, but that specific worry did not make the insurance industry list. Honeybees pollinate approximately 75 percent of our food supply – if the bees die off, the human race will follow within just a few short and very hungry years.
Towers Watson Senior Risk Consultant Stephen Lowe had this to say about the potentially deadly risks causing unease around the globe:
"Much as we would have expected pandemics and natural catastrophes to figure prominently in insurers' extreme risk thinking, the high rankings of concerns such as cyber-warfare and a major data compromise in the cloud [user-submitted idea] illustrate how the industry is keeping up to date with risk assessment. The kinds of risks that could wipe out an insurance business do inevitably evolve over time, so we were very encouraged to see this degree of engagement for a broad sample of the industry."Those polled noted a "confluence" of massive earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and floods as insurance industry nightmares. The list very closely resembles the events noted during the introduction segment of a Doomsday Preppers episode. A food, water, or energy crisis was the number three concern by industry executives. The Tower Watson agency stated that such a disaster would affect the mortality and morbidity rates and at the same time generate "investment winners and losers." The negative economic impact of any of the SHTF scenarios listed on the survey should not be discounted. Any one of the emergency scenarios would surely cause the economy to whirl into a tailspin. The insurance survey also stated that a "sovereign default" would potentially initiate a regional insurance crisis due to the "forced disposals" from banking groups.
Cyber warfare in spot number four involved a scenario which included either sabotage or espionage on a massive scale that spurred severe damage to the medical, defense, and financial systems or infrastructure. Although not specifically noted, a downed power grid would most definitely fall within this category. A cyber attack on the power grid would halt the food supply, leave millions of Americans in the darkness and extremely vulnerable. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, An attack on the power grid would effectively crush the economy and the loss of life due to a lack of medical services and civil unrest would be monumental. The recent GridX II nationwide power grid drill revealed exactly what many preppers already knew – the overly taxed, antiquated, and fragile power grid would fail if a direct solar flare, EMP attack, or cyber warfare attack occurred. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that a cyber attack on the power grid was a matter of "if" not "when."
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