Skip to main content

Hackers, Possibly From Middle East, Block U.S. Banks' Websites

The financial and banking industries are on high alert tonight as a massive cyberattack continues, with potentially millions of customers of Bank of America, PNC and Wells Fargo finding themselves blocked from banking online.
"There is an elevated level of threat," said Doug Johnson, a vice president and senior adviser of the American Bankers Association. "The threat level is now high."
"This is twice as large as any flood we have ever seen," said Dick Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former cybersecurity czar.
Sources told ABC News that the so-called denial of service attacks had been caused by hackers from the Middle East who had secretly transmitted signals commandeering thousands of computers worldwide.
Those computers -- or "zombies" -- were then used to overwhelm bank websites with a barrage of electronic traffic.
Different banks have been targeted on different days.
Today was PNC Bank's turn: For three hours, ABC News tried to get on the PNC website to no avail.
On Facebook, a frustrated customer, Cynthia Schirm, wrote, "Trying to pay bills. This is ridiculous."
"Hopefully it can be up soon," wrote Stacy Briggs-Gerlach. "Never realized how dependent I am on it!!!"
A group of hackers calling themselves Izz ad-Din al-Qassam warned the financial industry that it was going to attack in retaliation for the controversial film "The Innocence of Muslims," which provoked outrage across the Muslim world earlier this month.
The U.S. said it suspected that hackers in Iran were also involved.
"This is the first time that we know about, where a Middle Eastern entity, perhaps a Middle Eastern government, has attacked websites, critical infrastructure, in the United States," Clarke said.
Even though hackers have not been able to steal any money during these attacks, authorities say they fear the next generation of wide-scale cyber assaults could be more devastating.
"If they get inside the banks, they can move money around and cause financial chaos," Clarke said.
ABC News obtained a Sept. 17 FBI alert warning that foreign hackers were targeting bank and credit union workers.
In a number of those cases, the hackers stole employee login credentials and then wired themselves between $400,000 and $900,000.
Sources told ABC News that the U.S. government was actively working to locate and disrupt the massive attacks.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site