Hackers threaten to resume cyberattacks on banks
By Alex Nixon
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 12:30 p.m.
The al Qassam Cyber Fighters, a hacking group that claimed responsibility for months of cyberattacks on U.S. banks, said it hit about a dozen bank websites on Monday, including PNC Bank and Citizens Bank. The group continues to demand removal of anti-Muslim videos from YouTube.
The Cyber Fighters, which crippled many bank websites between September and January with so-called denial-of-service attacks, issued an “ultimatum” on Tuesday warning of a new round of attacks.
Denial-of-service attacks flood a website with traffic, overwhelming it and preventing legitimate users from gaining access.
PNC spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said the Pittsburgh-based bank's website has not experienced problems. Citizens, the second-largest bank in Pittsburgh, declined to comment.
The hackers' group, which federal officials and Internet security experts believe is a front for the Iranian government, said it initiated a one-day attack Monday against Bank of America, PNC Bank, CapitalOne, Fifth Third Bank, Comerica, Citizens Bank, Patelco Credit Union in San Francisco and several others to demonstrate the “seriousness” of its demands.
“This is the last al-qassam's ultimatum to U.S. government, and, we announce that if the insulting films are not removed in the following days the Operation Ababil will be started again next week, March 5, 2013,” the group wrote on Internet message board Pastebin.com.
Sitedown.co, a website that tracks customer reports of website outages, showed Bank of America, Patelco, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, CapitalOne and Umpqua Bank in Portland, Ore., experiencing problems on Monday and Tuesday.
In late January, the Cyber Fighters said it was suspending attacks when a YouTube video that insulted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was taken down. But four videos that remain online continue to draw the group's ire.
Internet security experts have said that denial-of-service attacks typically seek to disrupt commerce, not steal financial or personal information. In previous attacks, banks have said no customer information was compromised.
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PNC plans to do away with tellers
- Consol acquires drilling rights from Dominion
- Pace of enrollments on Healthcare.gov more than double, government says
- Born in Pittsburgh, US Airways departure is a bittersweet one
- Barra breaks GM glass ceiling
- Education Management Corp. suit settled for $3.4 million
- Stocks decline on heels of record close
- Nestle cuts ties with farm over dairy cow abuse
- Poll: Women’s pay up, but so is negativity
- Credit card companies offer free credit scores
- Cecil-based Rice Energy to go public