The short film “Innocence of the Muslims” may not have provoked attacks on American interests in Libya but it does continue to rankle Islamic extremists around the world. In the latest development, a cyberterrorist group is now threatening to attack U.S. banks unless YouTube forcibly deletes the clip from its servers.
The group that calls itself the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam claimed to have given a preview of what's to come in launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of a number of banks and credit unions on Monday. Targets included Bank of America, PNC Financial, Capital One Financial, Union Bank, Zions Bank, Citizens Bank, Peoples United Bank, Patelco Credit Union and University Federal Credit Union.
Which banks were struck and the extent of the disruption were not clear. However, Ronen Kenig, director of security solutions at Radware said Thursday at least seven banks suffered outages that lasted from a few minutes to several hours. He refused to name the banks.
Security researchers tend to take the group's pre-announcements of attacks on Pastebin [a website which allows users to post content] seriously, because the attackers have generally followed through on their promises. Also, the method of attack has been consistent.
The group generally uses compromised servers in hosting companies that are often located in the United States, Kenig said. In the latest attacks, the servers were infected with a "shell booter," which essentially enables the attackers to flood a site with bogus traffic in order to overwhelm its servers.
And naturally, don't expect to hear much about this in the American press.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.