LONDON — Lloyds Bank was hit by a sustained cyber attack from overseas earlier this month that aimed to crash the lender’s website.
The so-called “Denial of Service” (DoS) attack, first reported by the Financial Times and confirmed by Business Insider, lasted from the morning of January 11 to the afternoon of Friday 13. Cyber attacks repeatedly tried to overwhelm the bank’s servers with requests in a bid to crash its website.
BI understands that the attack came in waves, with DoS attacks every three hours across the period.
Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and TSB, which still uses the Lloyds tech platform, were all also affected by the attack. No customers’ accounts were compromised. The worst that happened was that some customers were briefly unable to access the websites and online services of the banks affected.
The exact motive and origin of the attack are unclear. A spokesperson for Lloyds said in a statement emailed to Business Insider:
“We experienced intermittent service issues with internet banking between Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon the week before last and are sorry for any inconvenience caused. We had a normal service in place for the vast majority of this period and only a small number of customers experienced problems. In most cases, if customers attempted another log in they were able to access their accounts. We will not speculate on the cause of these intermittent issues.”
Business Insider understands that outside security firms and contractors have been drafted in to help Lloyds’ own internal investigation into the incident.
Cyber security is a growing issue for both governments and corporations around the world, with hostile nations increasingly using hacking and cyber attacks such as DoS as a proxy for real hostilities. The BuzzFeed News dossier on Trump’s alleged links to Russia claims that the country’s security services specifically target banks and other major institutions.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced last November that Britain would “strike back” against foreign cyber attacks and pledged to invest £1.9 billion in cyber security.
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