If you’ve banked in the U.S. For the last few months, then it’s highly likely that your bank has been compromised, repeatedly. Since September, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC, Capital One, BB&T, HSBC and Fifth Third Bank were among the targets of recent cyber attacks, reports the New York Times.
But the perpetrators did not actually steal anything. These attacks are what you would call DDoS or distributed denial of service attacks. The nature, coordination and sophistication of the attacks lead officials to suspect the government of Iran is to blame.
James A. Lewis, a former official with the Commerce and State Department, and current computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies requires no further convincing of Tehran’s involvement. “There is no doubt within the U.S. Government that Iran is behind these attacks,” he recently told the New York Times.
Here’s is quick rundown of what American intelligence knows: a group of hackers entered into data centers and used “clouds” run by Amazon and Google to overwhelm the banks’ online systems. International outlets report that this newest wave of cyber warfare has hit the top twenty banks in the country.
In order to keep their customers safe while executing online transactions, banks encrypt the information, this works well but requires a healthy bit of system resources to do. What the attackers did was to give these sites a ridiculous amount of encryption requests until they were crippled and vulnerable.
The group taking credit for the attacks is called the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters. They claim it as retaliation for the anti-Islam video that made it to YouTube a few months ago. Officials aren’t buying it.