New wave of ‘Iranian’ cyber attack hits 20 U.S. banks

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Twenty major U.S. banks were hit by a new wave of high-powered cyber attack starting Wednesday and security experts believe the hacking was sanctioned by Tehran.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters claimed responsibility for the attack launched in September, but an investigation by computer security firm Radware found that a data center is being used to disrupt the websites of the banks.

Such distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is usually done using an army of hacked and controlled computers. This time, the attackers hacked datacenters hosting websites and used its massive computing power to launch the latest wave of DDoS attack on the banks. This kind of cyber attack that does not steal money from the banks and is unprecedented in “scale, scope and effectiveness” is a sign of a state-sponsored cyber attack, according to Radware vice president of security solutions Carl Herberger.

James Lewis, a former official in the state and commerce departments and now a computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, claimed that Iran is behind the attacks, the New York Times reported.

The al-Qassam Cyber Fighters had vowed to continue the attacks unless the U.S. pull out an online video mocking the Prophet Mohammad. U.S. intelligence officials are not buying the threat and believe that the group is a front of the Iranian government.

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