Experts unsure whether Iran is behind bank DDoS attacks
Sophistication of attacks points to possible state sponsor, but there's no proof yet, say security experts
Computerworld - Though U.S. officials blamed Iran for an ongoing stream of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) against major U.S. banks, security experts say there's not enough evidence yet to assign blame.
The security experts say that the attacks over the past few months appear to be very well planned and that the attackers have much knowledge of the weak spots in U.S. financial services networks, which could make them state sponsored.
Meanwhile, the ongoing attacks have reportedly prompted some banks to seek the help of the National Security Agency (NSA).
The Washington Post on Friday quoted an unnamed bank official as saying that banks are seeking NSA help due to a growing sophistication of DDoS attacks against them.
Earlier this week, the New York Times quoted a former official in the U.S State and Commerce Department as saying that there is "no doubt" within the U.S. government that Iran is behind the attacks.
A group calling itself "Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters" has claimed responsibility for a series of DDoS attacks against several large U.S. banks including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp.
The group claims to be based in Iran and says the attacks are in protest of YouTube's refusal to take down a trailer of the controversial anti-Islam movie that roiled much of the Middle East last year.
The DDoS attacks began last September and have shown no signs of abating.
If anything, the attacks have become more sophisticated and disruptive, said Scott Hammack, chief executive officer at Prolexic Technologies, a security firm that has been helping some of the largest U.S. banks fend off the attacks.
Unlike past DDoS attacks, the ongoing attacks are much more high-bandwidth and more frequent, Hammack said. For instance, Prolexic recently observed high-bandwidth attacks against two separate banks that were launched at the same time.
One of the attacks generated 75GBps of DDoS traffic while the other generated 45GBps. Such high-bandwidth attacks, which used to occur once or twice a year, have become almost routine, he said.
Unlike past DDoS attacks, in which attackers commanded hundreds of thousands of infected PCs to send streams of useless traffic to targeted systems, the latest ones involve thousands of comprised servers capable of generating far greater DDoS traffic, he said.
Whoever is behind the attacks also appears to be using so-called "push technology" to control the infected servers in real-time he said.
The technology allows attackers to turn on and turn off DDoS attacks and redirect DDoS streams at will, Hammack said. "They have a very good knowledge of what infrastructure to go after, particularly weak spots in the infrastructure," he said.
- Cyberattacks could paralyze U.S., former defense chief warns
- Syrian Electronic Army shanghais Microsoft's Twitter account, blog
- Is French outrage against U.S. spying misplaced?
- Lawmakers seek answers on Obamacare Data Hub security
- China-based hacking group behind hundreds of attacks on U.S. companies
- How to Prepare for a Potential Syrian Counterattack on the U.S. Power Grid
- New York Times site outage caused by attack on domain registrar, company says
- Cyber drills like Quantum Dawn 2 vital to security in financial sector
- Quantum Dawn 2 will test Wall Street's cyber readiness
- Pentagon accuses China of cyberattacks on U.S military, business targets
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts