Hacktivist group is planning to launch more distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against U.S. bank sites as part of Operation Ababil.
Martyr Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters first initiated the DDoS campaign in attempt to get an anti-Muslim video removed from YouTube. By late January, the video Innocence of Muslims was taken down but it already had 17 million views. In a Pastebin message, the group posted a list of other highly viewed videos that, if not also pulled, would lead to more attacks.
“Surely it’s not over yet…All of them need to be removed,” the hacktivist group warned. “Meanwhile, we will control the situation constantly and closely and will adopt the correct decision according to the future circumstances.”
Tuesday the group posted a new Pastebin message, threatening, “a number of american banks will be hit by denial of service attacks three days a week.”
Previously the Cyber Fighters claimed responsibility for the DDoS attacks against JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group, BB&T Corp., SunTurst Banks and Regions Financial Corp.
The group said that the attacks—phase 3 of Operation Ababil—would affect banks Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during working hours. The Cyber Fighters estimated the cost would be $30,000 per minute for each affected bank.
So far throughout the week, Sitedown.com, a forum for users to post complaints with various websites, has seen complaints with issues for the sites of BB&T and Bank of America.
There has been speculation on the true origination of the attacks, and The New York Times reported government officials believed the Iranian government was behind the attacks in response to malware believed to have been sent to Iranian targets by the U.S.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has tried to assuage the situation by imploring credit unions to implement strategies to mitigate DDoS attacks given the “increasing frequency of cyber terror attacks on depository institutions.”
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