U.S. Banks Again Hit by Wave of Cyberattacks

Saturday, January 5, 2013
By Paul Martin

By NICOLE PERLROTH
NYTimes.com
JANUARY 4, 2013

For the last week, hackers have — once again — attacked the online banking sites of several American banks.

The attacks appear to be the second stage of a campaign that began in September, when a hacker group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters took credit for a series of attacks on the Web sites of Bank of America, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC that caused intermittent delays.

The group said it had attacked the banks in retaliation for an anti-Islam video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad and pledged to continue its campaign until the video was removed from the Internet. They called the campaign Operation Ababil, a Koran reference to the swallows Allah sent to attack an army of elephants dispatched by the King of Yemen to attack Mecca in 571 A.D.

In an online post on Tuesday, the group said that it had resumed Operation Ababil and that, over the last several weeks, it had focused on nine banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC, BB&T, Suntrust and Regions Financial.

“Our aim of this operation is removal of that insulting and absurd film,” the hackers wrote in an online post.

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