Wall Street Down

Cyberattack cripples key financial platform, raising market jitters.


Ransomware Suspect

Investigators probe potential data breach, seeking encrypted secrets.


Recovery Timeline Unclear

Millions in limbo as EquiLend struggles to return, lessons sought.

News > Cyber-Attacks > Ransomware
by Kevin Wood

Walls Street Tremors: EquiLend Offline After Ransomware Attack



Wall Street reeling again

The financial world stands shaken after global securities lending platform EquiLend revealed a cyberattack on January 22, 2024, forcing them to take several systems offline. While details remain fluid, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of critical financial infrastructure in the digital age.

EquiLend: A Wall Street Powerhouse Grounded

Founded in 2000 by a consortium of Wall Street giants, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and BlackRock, EquiLend facilitates trillions of dollars in securities transactions daily. The platform connects borrowers and lenders of a vast array of financial instruments, playing a vital role in market liquidity and efficiency.

The attack disrupted key parts of EquiLend’s infrastructure, taking offline crucial components like loan trading and settlement systems. Though they immediately launched an investigation with external cybersecurity firms, the full extent of the damage and the nature of the attack remain under wraps.

Ransomware: The Suspected Culprit

Initial reports indicate ransomware as the potential culprit, though EquiLend hasn’t officially confirmed this. Ransomware involves attackers encrypting critical data and demanding payment in cryptocurrency to unlock it. If true, this would mark a significant escalation in tactics targeting financial institutions, previously more susceptible to phishing attacks and data breaches.

The potential consequences of a data breach at EquiLend are considerable. Sensitive financial information, client data, and even transaction records could be compromised, causing significant financial losses and reputational damage. The disruption to trade settlement could also ripple through markets, creating instability and uncertainty.

Recovery Uncertain as Investigations Unfold

EquiLend has assured clients that they’re working diligently to restore affected systems and mitigate the impact of the attack. They haven’t disclosed a timeline for full restoration, leaving investors and market participants anxious and waiting for updates.

The ongoing investigation, aided by cybersecurity experts, aims to identify the attackers, assess the damage, and develop a comprehensive recovery plan. The outcome of this investigation will be crucial in determining the long-term consequences of the attack and potentially setting a precedent for how similar incidents are handled in the future.

Fallout and Wider Implications

The EquiLend attack exposes the fragility of financial systems in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. It raises critical questions about cybersecurity preparedness within the financial sector and the need for robust defenses against evolving attack methods.

Furthermore, the incident highlights the interconnectedness of global financial markets. An attack on a single platform like EquiLend can have far-reaching implications, potentially disrupting trade flows and impacting investor confidence.

The fallout from the EquiLend attack is still unfolding, leaving a trail of uncertainty and anxiety in its wake. As investigations continue and recovery efforts progress, the financial world will be watching closely to assess the full scope of the damage and contemplate the lessons learned from this digital heist.

This article will be updated as further information becomes available.


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