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News Link • Hacking, Cyber Security

Here's How Hackers Crashed 6 Major Banks' Websites

•, Michael Kaplan
Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and PNC all suffered denial of service (DNS) attacks which occur when intruders are able to break in and overwhelm a server with web traffic.

The cyberattackers claimed allegiance to a group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters--a reference to a prominent Muslim cleric who fought against Jewish settlers in the Middle East before the formation of Israel in 1948. In a statement, the group said the attacks were in retaliation for the anti-Islam video that has sparked protests across the Middle East in recent weeks.

The attack was likely made possible when an employee with a corporate email address clicked on a misleading link that established a connection with the hacker's server, said Dr. Josh Pauli, director of the NSA-approved cybersecurity program at Dakota State University.
"It can be an advertisement or email for a new mountain bike or a trip to Vegas," Pauli said. "In the past DNS hackers would send 5 million spam emails in hopes of getting one to hit. Now it's no longer free Viagra, but a more research intensive, social engineering project where the hacker will link to a website that looks legitimate or an email address from what appears to be a corporate account."

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