Depositors of banks like the Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Citigroup, and PNC expressed worries on the rumor spreading that a group of hackers had attacked the websites of the mentioned banks, which caused delays in banking transactions last week.
According to the group of hackers, who call itself the Izz ad-Din al Qassam Cyber Fighters, they “attacked” the banks in retaliation for a video that mocked the Muslim prophet Muhammad, adding that they will continue until the said video is removed from the Internet. The group had also said in a post on Tuesday that they will continue their campaign on nine major banks, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Regions Financial, U.S. Bancorp, and BB & T.
Representatives from PNC, Citigroup and BB&T confirmed that indeed they experienced intermittent disruptions in their online banking facility because of high traffic. However, they said that customer information and bank accounts had not been affected.
Meanwhile, the other banks in the list did not appear to have disruptions or trouble regarding reaching their online banking facilities.
Debra DeCourcy, spokesperson of another major bank, the Fifth Third Bank, said on Thursday that the delays they experienced in accessing their online banking system may be due to the so-called denial of service attack. However, she said, it is not something to worry about, assuring customers that there is no information or data compromised.
Denial of Service Attack
In a denial of service attack, hackers try to bombard a site with huge traffic. They try to recruit people or volunteers to click on a link directing to the victim site until the site collapses, or through the use of a huge network of infected computers. However, this does not mean that the customer information is compromised.
Security researchers, however, who did a recent study on security attacks on online banking facilities said that hackers had been using data centers, a new hacking technique.
They found that attacks done on several banks were coming from “data centers” that had been infected with a new form of malware designed to go through a system protected with an anti-virus program.
So far, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has not made a comment on the said issue.