cybercrime_1829064bCyber-criminals will trigger the next global financial crisis by making a major bank “disappear”, one of the UK’s leading finance chiefs has claimed.

Mark Boleat, head of policy for the City of London, said cyber-criminals would go about “destroying bank records and changing the amounts people have in their accounts”, sending shockwaves through the financial system like a “neutron bomb”. People would find that their savings have been wiped out, their records deleted, and they would come up against “denials of service”, stopping them from accessing funds, Mr Boleat told The Sunday Telegraph. The attack would bring much of the financial world grinding to a halt, and render the targeted bank useless, he warned. “A bank will disappear – a national bank.”

The doomsday scenario has echoes of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, the novel by Stieg Larsson which was adapted for the big screen, in which the protagonist empties someone else’s bank account by hacking into the company’s systems and artificially changing the balance. More