In recent months, U.S. financial institutions have experienced frequent cyberattacks, and now a fresh wave of assaults appears to be beginning. Hackers associated with Islamic terrorists are claiming responsibility for the latest attacks, which temporarily prevented customers from accessing services at Chase.
Adam Samson with FOX Business reported, “In what is growing to be a major headache for a broad swath of financial institutions, a group claiming to be aligned with Islamic terrorism has started a new round of attacks on U.S. bank websites. The al-Qassam Cyber Fighters posted to a popular forum that it will target nine bank sites in this new string of attacks. Among the targets are America’s three biggest banks by assets: J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C). Also on the list are PNC Financial (PNC), U.S. Bancorp (USB), BB&T (BBT), Capital One (COF), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) and Union Bank.”
Bloomberg’s Chris Strohm and Dawn Kopecki added, “JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) was hit with a denial-of-service cyber attack [Tuesday] that prevented customers from banking online through the Chase.com website, according to Michael Fusco, a company spokesman. ‘We’re working to get Chase online back up to full speed,’ Fusco said by telephone. He said no customer data had been affected.”
E. Scott Reckard with the Los Angeles Times noted, “A group identifying itself as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters has been attacking American banks off and on since September. The group, based in the Middle East, says the attacks are retaliation for a video, produced by amateur U.S. filmmakers, that mocks the prophet Muhammad. In a pastebin.com post, the group threatened to attack U.S. banks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays ‘because of widespread and organized offends to Islamic spirituals and holy issues.’ It said the attacks would stop if the video disappeared from the Internet.”
The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Clark Estes observed that the attack on Chase began within minutes of a briefing in which NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander warned U.S. Senators that cyberattacks on financial institutions were likely to increase. Estes wrote, “The general wasn’t kidding. Within an hour or so of Alexander’s testimony reports that Chase Bank’s website had been hacked started to bubble up…. Hacking into a bank’s website right after the head of the NSA warns the Senate about hackers hacking into banks’ websites is certainly a clever way to win attention.”