US Treasury to play key role in protecting financial IT infrastructure amid global cyber attacks

The US Treasury will step up efforts to boost cybersecurity and protect its financial IT infrastructure in the wake of recent cyberattacks.
The US Treasury will step up efforts to boost cybersecurity and protect its financial IT infrastructure in the wake of recent cyberattacks. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Treasury Department said Saturday (May 13) it will play a "leading role" in protecting the global financial system's IT infrastructure, as a massive wave of weekend ransomware attacks struck banks, hospitals and government agencies in dozens of countries around the world.

"These global cyber attacks highlight the real world consequences of technological vulnerabilities," a senior US Treasury Department officials told reporters on the return flight from the G7 gathering of financial chiefs in Bari, Italy.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "has made protecting America's financial infrastructure from cyber attacks a top priority".

The Treasury Department "will continue to work across agency and with international partners to develop and spread best practices based on the highest established cyber security standards."

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President Donald Trump's administration "is committed to protecting Americans and the global financial system from the constantly evolving threat of cyber attack ... and Treasury will play a leading role in this critical national security effort".

Mnuchin said earlier Saturday that he had productive meetings with his counterparts at Bari on the need to protect the financial IT infrastructure.

G7 finance chiefs vowed Saturday to unite against cybercrime, stating that cyber incidents represent a growing threat to their economies and that tackling them should be a priority.