The World Economic Forum (WEF) is now predicting a global cyberattack that shares many characteristics with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Klaus Schwab, founder and executive director of the WEF, called this crisis scenario a “Great Reset.”
“The frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyberattack could bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole,” said Schwab. “The COVID-19 crisis would be seen in this respect as a small disturbance in comparison to a major cyberattack.”
“I believe that there will be another crisis,” said WEF Managing Director Jeremy Jurgens. “It will be more significant. It will be faster than what we’ve seen with COVID. The impact will be greater, and as a result, the economic and social implications will be even more significant.”
Schwab, Jurgens and other WEF executives described this Great Reset scenario as a massive, chaotic economic and social crisis that disrupts the internet, communication systems, financial and monetary transactions, the power grid, global transportation and commodity trade systems. These compounding crises will have “geopolitical” ramifications.
To simulate the lead-up to the Great Reset, the WEF has sponsored multiple exercises that try and capture just how devastating it will be.
The organization recently held “Event 201,” a scenario wherein a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from animals makes its way into the human population.
According to the results of this simulation, over 65 million people all over the world would die from this uncontrolled pandemic after 18 months. The simulation ended with the imaginary coronavirus turning into an endemic childhood disease.
Israeli simulation explores responses to global financial cyberattack
More recently, the WEF collaborated with the government of Israel, nine other countries, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements to hold a cyber pandemic exercise in Jerusalem titled “Cyber Polygon.”
“A lack of cybersecurity has become a clear and immediate danger to our society worldwide,” said Schwab.
The cybersecurity training exercise, dubbed “Collective Strength,” was a simulated “war game” that the country has been busy planning over the past year and played over 10 days. Collective Strength simulated an attack on the global financial sector and how governments can respond to it.
“This is the first time that such a simulation is conducted, with this vast amount of participants and such extreme financial-cyber scenarios,” said Rahav Shalom Revivo, head of Financial-Cyber Innovation and International Engagements in Israel’s Ministry of Finance. “All are cooperating and collaborating together in order to maintain the resilience and stability of the financial ecosystem.”
The simulation featured several types of attacks by what the officials called “sophisticated” groups. These attacks impacted global financial systems, including foreign exchange and bond markets, liquidity, integrity of data and transactions between exporters and importers.
In the wake of many high-profile cyberattacks on large corporations in the past few years, the Israeli government warned that these kinds of threats are very likely. They claim the only way these kinds of large-scale cyberattacks can be contained is through the cooperation of governments and multinational organizations like the WEF and financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF.
The participants of Collective Strength discussed potential responses to such a massive crisis, including coordinated global bank holidays, debt repayment grace periods, swap and repo agreements and coordinated delinking from major currencies.