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January 9, 2013

Is Iran Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks Against U.S. Banks?

Is Iran Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks Against U.S. Banks?

Mashable, By: Alex Fitzpatrick

Several American banks, among them Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and others, have been the target of cyberattacks in recent months. While no bank records or personally identifiable information have been stolen from any bank, customers have been complaining of slow or unusable online banking services.

The attacks are coming in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks launched by networked computers in data centers. That's a level above less sophisticated DDoS attacks, which are commonly orchestrated like this: First, hackers gain control of a commandable network of "bot" computers by spreading a virus that infects thousands of unsuspecting computer owners. Then, they turn those machines into weapons, pointing a great deal of bogus traffic at a particular website in the hopes of overloading and crashing the target server.

But where are these attacks coming from? Responsibility for many of them has been claimed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, which say they're unaffiliated with any government. However, according to United States government officials cited in a recent New York Times report, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam is likely a front for Iran's cyberwarfare efforts.


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