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“Funded hacktivism” or cyber-terr orists, AmEx attackers have big bankroll
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 02:34:13 -0500 (CDT)

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/03/funded-hacktivism-or-cyber-terrorists-amex-attackers-have-big-bankroll/

By Sean Gallagher
Ars Technica
Mar 30 2013

On March 28, American Express' website went offline for at least two hours during a distributed denial of service attack. A group calling itself "the cyber-fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam" claimed responsibility for the attack, which began at about 3:00pm Eastern Time.

In a statement, an American Express spokesperson said, "Our site experienced a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for about two hours on Thursday afternoon...We experienced intermittent slowing on our website that would have disrupted customers' ability to access their account information. We had a plan in place to defend against a potential attack and have taken steps to minimize ongoing customer impact."

The American Express DDoS is part of a new wave of attacks started two weeks ago by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam group, which launched a larger campaign targeting US financial institutions that began last September. The group's alleged goal is to force the take-down of an offensive YouTube video—or extract an ongoing price from American banks as long as the video stays up, which could be indefinitely.

These attacks are also part of a larger trend of disruptive and destructive attacks on financial institutions by apparently politically-motivated groups, the most damaging of which was the attack on South Korean banks and other companies last week. It's a trend that has surprised some security analysts, considering that the financial industry has focused more on advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks and cyber-espionage in recent years.

[...]

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