New wave of 'cyberattacks' on US banks resume post 3-month break in response to 'anti-Islam film'
A massive new wave of cyberattacks aimed at blocking access to US banking websites has resumed after a three-month break, but only mild impacts have been reported so far despite its size, cybersecurity experts has said.
Experts analyzing the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks - which shoot data from myriad computers to clog the Internet pipes at the target site - say the attacks that began early Tuesday are similar to those that struck banks' website server computers in mid-September and continued for several weeks.
According to a message posted Monday on pastebin.com by a purported Islamic hacktivist group, "Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam", U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, and SunTrust Banks are some the banks that are in crosshairs, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
According to the report, all five were targeted - along with Capital One, Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, and HSBC - during the first attacks in September.
The message claims these latest "Phase 2 Operation Ababil" attacks are a mass popular response by Muslims to "Innocence of Muslims," a video made in the US and posted on YouTube that Muslims consider an affront to the Prophet Muhammad, the report said.
"In [this] new phase, the wideness and the number of attacks will increase explicitly; and offenders and subsequently their governmental supporters will not be able to imagine and forecast the widespread and greatness of these attacks," the group wrote.
But a growing body of technical evidence casts doubt on the assertion that thousands of disgruntled Muslims in the Middle East are behind the cyberattack. Rather, it points to a single group operating a large number of high-powered computer servers that have been hijacked to attack the banks, cybersecurity experts said.