The newest wave of cyberattacks targeting U.S. banks — which have cost millions of dollars since September — seem bent on destruction rather than espionage, Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger of The New York Times report.
“The attacks have changed from espionage to destruction,” said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity training organisation. “Nations are actively testing how far they can go before we will respond.”
Security experts believe that the hackers — who took down American Express’ website on Thursday and JP Morgan earlier this month — are the same ones that paralysed several bank websites over the past six months.
Those attacks were blamed on the Qassam Cyber Fighters, a group of Iranian hackers which a new denial of service (DDOS) attack called “itsoknoproblembro” to flood servers (with sustained traffic peaking at 70 Gbps).
The Times cites a “cyber-rampage” — also blamed on Iran — that targeted Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer. In that case the hackers not only erased data on 30,000 Aramco computers, but also replaced the data with an image of a burning American flag.
The strange thing about the Times report is that it never explicitly states that U.S. banks lost data — American Express said there was no customer data was “compromised” — and yet the article is about cyberattacks “meant to destory, not just disrupt.”
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