According to two sources with knowledge of the matter at hand, the European Central Bank has begun preparing banks for a possible cyber-attack from Russian actors.
The standoff between Russia and Ukraine has hit a nerve in Europe’s political and business leaders, since any potential conflict could engulf the entire region.
French President Emmanuel Macron has shuttled from Moscow to Kyiv and has called for calm from all sides in a bid to defuse the crisis.
The European Central Bank, led by former French minister Christine Lagarde has gone on alert for any potential cyber threats emanating from Russia, said two sources.
According to a source, while the European Central Bank (ECB) has been focused on ordinary scams during the pandemic, the Ukraine crisis has diverted its attention to cyber attacks launched from Russia and has questioned banks on their cyber defences.
European banks are conducting cyber war games to test their ability to fend off an attack, said a source.
The ECB has singled out cybersecurity vulnerabilities as one of its priorities.
On its part, Russian officials have said, the West is gripped by Russophobia and has no right to lecture Moscow on how to act after it expanded NATO eastwards since 1991 following the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Kremlin has also repeatedly denied the involvement of the Russian state in hacking attacks around the globe and has called for increased cooperation with the United States and others to crack down on cyber crime.
In an online conference, Mark Branson, the head of German supervisor BaFin, said cyberwarfare was interconnected with geopolitics and security.
Some analysts have accused Washington and the media of blowing the Ukraine crisis out of proportion, especially after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused the US of fuelling panic.