Quantum Dawn 2 is coming to Wall Street.
No, it’s not a video game or a bad zombie movie; it’s a simulated cyber attack to prepare banks, brokerages and exchanges for what has become an ever-bigger risk to their earnings and operations.
Organized by the trade group SIFMA, Quantum Dawn 2 will take place on July 18 – a summer Thursday that, with any luck, will be a relatively quiet day in the real markets.The drill involves not just big Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Bank of America, but the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to SIFMA officials.
“We go through a pretty rigorous scenario where we look at multiple threats being thrown out at the U.S. equity markets,” said Karl Schimmeck, vice president of financial services operations at SIFMA.
During the exercise, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in New York, participants will receive blasts of vague and confusing information about what appears to be a hacker attack on fake trading and information platforms that are not plugged into actual markets. The participants may see “latency,” or unusual slowness, in trading, or viruses trying to invade the systems. They will also have to call one another to figure out what’s going on.
Then the Quantum Dawn drill will pause to allow executives to make decisions: should they slow down trading? Use different routing mechanisms to exchanges to get orders filled but avoid threats? When the process begins again, it will fast forward in “warp speed” to a new situation later in the day where conditions have worsened or changed.