DDoS attacks against US banks peaked at 60 Gbps

Banks are likely to be better protected against this wave of attacks, Arbor Networks researchers say

Some of the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that targeted the websites of U.S. financial institutions this week have peaked at 60 Gbps, according to researchers from DDoS mitigation provider Arbor Networks.

A group calling itself "Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters" launched a series of DDoS attacks against the websites of several U.S. banks during September and October, severely disrupting online and mobile banking services for extended periods of time. The group claimed that the attacks were in response to a controversial film trailer mocking the prophet Muhammad not being removed from YouTube.

On Dec. 10, the same group announced that a new wave of attacks would start this week and target U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group and SunTrust Banks. In a post on Pastebin, the group said this second phase of the operation would involve more widespread attacks.

The attacks started on Tuesday and continued Wednesday and Thursday. "PNC and other banks have experienced an unusual volume of internet traffic," PNC Bank said Wednesday in a post on its Facebook page. "As a result, some customers may experience slowness or difficulty when logging into online and mobile banking."

On Thursday, the bank posted an update saying: "PNC is experiencing an unusual volume of internet traffic consistent with recent threats against U.S. banks. Access to pnc.com, online and mobile banking is slow as we work to resolve the issue."

"Some of this week's attacks have been as large as 60 Gbps," researchers from Arbor Networks said Tuesday in a blog post. The average rate for attacks in September was 1.67 Gbps, with a peak for that month of 63.3 Gbps, according to figures from Arbor.

That said, the attacks are not that much different from the ones in September and October, according to Dan Holden, head of Arbor's security engineering and response team. There are some changes in the tools being used, but they are not significant, he said.

The attackers are using a new version of a tool called Brobot -- one of the primary tools used in the first set of the attacks -- and the main addition seems to be a new attack method that uses specially crafted DNS packets. However, this is a known technique and from an Arbor standpoint, there should be no problem defending against it, Holden said.

He believes that in general the banks and their providers are better prepared to defend against DDoS attacks now than they were two months ago. Even if some of the websites are affected, it will be less so than it was in September and October, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags arbor networksBank of AmericaJPMorgan ChaseSunTrust BanksPNC Financial Services GroupU.S. Bancorp

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?