A Middle Eastern hacktivist group appeared to claim responsibility for massive denial-of-service cyber attacks on websites of six US banks. Some experts now say that claim is a 'false flag' to divert attention from the real attackers.
A series of cyberattacks on the websites of six US banks is probably not the sole work of hacktivists upset about a YouTube video that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad, as early reports had conjectured. Rather, the massive denial-of-service attacks appear to have been tightly orchestrated, possibly by a single group, and may have been a bid to divert attention from other, more subtle attacks.
Cybersecurity experts analyzing the distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) – which shoot data from myriad computers to make it hard to block the attempt to clog the Internet pipes at the target site – are also waiting to see if the perpetrators will strike again this week.
The first attack occurred Sept. 18. Between 9 and 10 a.m. EDT, security companies monitoring World Wide Web traffic noticed a sudden torrent of "junk" data directed at Bank of America – which soon became a deluge of about 65 gigabytes of information per second. That's about 15 to 30 times larger than is typically seen in such cyberattacks – roughly equal to data contained in 250,000 books shot at a bank website each second. Five similar DDoS attacks on other banks would follow.
Why, and who is behind the gigantic digital bombardments?
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