Numerous Banks Hit With Access Issues
A number of U.S. financial institutions may have been hit with another round of cyber attacks on Wednesday as customers had difficulty accessing the banks' websites. According to reports, some customers at U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) had intermittent access issues during the day. U.S. Bank spokesman Tom Joyce said that the firm's website was experiencing "unusual and high-traffic volume" that is designed to slow down the system.
"We are working closely with federal law enforcement officials to address this issue," he said. Customers data and funds are not at risk, he added. PNC also said that some of its customers may have problems logging into its website on their first attempt. "We are aware of the situation and are working to restore full access," spokesman Fred Solomon said. JPMorgan's Chase banking unit also acknowledged problems but said that they had been largely fixed earlier in the day.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a vague post on a site called pastebin.com called for the attacks against U.S. Bank, PNC, and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and said that the attacks will continue until the anti-Islam film that has triggered protests across the Middle East is removed from the internet. This is leading some officials to suggest that the cyber threat is directly related to the ongoing anti-U.S. protests.
The previous attacks have been linked to a group called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, which claimed responsibility for the system intrusions. The group reportedly threatened to attack U.S. Bank today and PNC on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Senator Joseph Lieberman pointed the finger at Iran last week. He said, "I think this was done by Iran and the Quds Force, which has its own developing cyber attack capability."
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