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With simulated attack, Wall Street to prep for virtual threats

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Wall Street firms are preparing to battle a growing menace: cyberattacks.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a major financial industry group, will coordinate a July 18 simulated cyberattack with about 50 firms in an exercise called Quantum Dawn 2. Exchanges, the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security will participate in the exercise, a sequel to a 2011 simulation.

“We've been under attack as a sector for the last nine months,” said Karl Schimmeck, the trade group's vice president of financial services operations. “... We know things are possible.”

The financial industry has weathered its share of such attacks in recent months as officials have become increasingly alarmed over computer-launched onslaughts by other nations, terrorists and hackers. Top military and intelligence officials have said the cyber threat now outranks al-Qaida.

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