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Danish bank hit in world-wide hacking attack

8 July 2021

Denmark's central bank was compromised in last year's global SolarWinds hacking operation, leaving a “backdoor” to its network open for seven months to highlight the widespread damage caused by the attack.

However, experts believe the suspected Russian hackers who triggered the world-wide threat, appear to have avoided large scale exploitation of victims to maintain access and collect sensitive data.

It is clear that if the SolarWinds hackers had been focused on interrupting business and destroying networks, the campaign could have been catastrophic for insurers as the revelation from Denmark’s central bank confirms.

A strategically delivered W Denis Europe insurance policy will help minimise business disruption during a cyber incident and its aftermath, as well as potentially covering the financial costs of some elements of dealing with the attack and recovering from it.

The Cyber insurance industry was expected to spend Euros 76 million (US$90m) on incident response and forensic services for clients who were compromised by the SolarWinds hackers.

The hackers modified a code in SolarWinds network management software that was downloaded by 18,000 customers around the globe opening a back door in various systems including the Danish central bank.

The bank, which manages transactions worth billions of dollars each day, told Reuters that there were “no signs that the attack had any real consequences.”

“The SolarWinds attack also hit the financial infrastructure in Denmark. The relevant systems were contained and analysed as soon as the compromise of SolarWinds Orion became known,” the bank added.

The Russian government has denied involvement in the SolarWinds hack, which hit both companies and institutions worldwide, including nine U.S. federal agencies. Microsoft President Brad Smith called it "the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen."

In May this year, Microsoft said a Russian-based hacking group launched a phishing campaign by gaining access to a marketing account of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Microsoft called it an active incident which targeted 3,000 email accounts across 150 organizations, mostly in the United States, however, the targets were in at least 24 countries.

Businesses in Norway, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands have been impacted with the Norwegian National Security Authority announcing it had implemented a vulnerability scan of IP addresses in the country to identify vulnerable Exchange servers and "continuously notify these companies."

A White House official said the latest intrusion and phishing campaign was far less serious than the SolarWinds fiasco, but  it serves as a warning about the continuing threat posed by hackers.

Cyber insurance helps protect organisations from the fallout from cyber-attacks and hacking threats by covering certain consequential financial costs and minimising business disruption.

It is also known as cyber liability insurance, or data protection insurance. It is there to make sure your business is protected against cyber crime – things like fraud, data theft and social engineering, where criminals attempt to fool you into parting with money, information or both. It also covers data breaches where sensitive information is accidentally shared.

For further information visit or contact

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