Attacks/Breaches
3/6/2013
12:17 PM
50%
50%

Bank Attackers Restart Operation Ababil DDoS Disruptions

Some customers report difficulty accessing banking sites, but officials said DDoS defenses and service provider blocks may be partly to blame.

The hacktivist Muslim bank website takedown crew is back.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters Tuesday announced via Pastebin that they would resume their Operation Ababil distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks this week against U.S. financial institutions.

"During ... Operation Ababil Phase 3, like previous phases, a number of american banks will be hit by denial of service attacks three days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during working hours," read the group's latest statement.

The al-Qassam Cyber Fighters last week issued an "Al-Qassam ultimatum", warning that unless all copies of the "Innocence of Muslims" movie that mocks the founder of Islam are removed from the Internet, it would commence a third round of bank DDoS attacks. "To warn and to show our seriousness for this, an attack string was carried out against some U.S. banks on Monday February 25, 2013 such as Bank of America, PNC, CapitalOne, Zions bank, 5/3, Unionbank, Comerica, Citizenbank, Peoples, UFCU, Patelco, and others," it said.

[ Anonymous targets Wall Street. Read Anonymous Launches Operation Wall Street, Targets CEOs. ]

This week, the group appeared to carry through with those threats. According to the Site Down website, beginning Tuesday, customers of Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, PNC Bank, Union Bank and Wells Fargo began reporting an increased number of website disruptions.

One commenter on Site Down posted Tuesday morning, "Can not access bankofamerica.com. Web site will not load...however...I CAN connect and log in using my iPhone. Strange." Another post read: "Site STILL down. Can we get a response??? am ready to take my banking elsewhere; this is getting ridiculous." Similar bursts of customer frustration were likewise directed at the other supposedly disrupted websites.

But have the banks' sites really been disrupted? BoA spokesman Mark T. Pipitone suggested otherwise. "At this point, we've had no issues on our end," he said via email.

Another bank official, speaking on background by phone, said that while many financial services websites are being targeted with DDoS attacks, people's inability to reach the websites is likely a side effect of the DDoS attack-scrubbing services and technology that firms now have in place, as well as service providers' own defenses. In other words, when a person can't access a banking site, it may be because their network, IP address or machine is being blocked by DDoS mitigation tools.

Furthermore, with a bank such as BoA alone counting 57 million customers, it can be difficult to tell whether the number of people who haven't been able to access a particular website on a given day has altered in a statistically significant way. Looking at BoA, over the past month the Site Down website received about 13 reports per day that the site couldn't be accessed. That number increased to an average of 18 per day this week, and 52 in the past 24 hours.

Of course, the combination of DDoS attacks and DDoS defenses does seem to be keeping some customers from accessing banking websites, even though the actual sites may still be up. That speaks to the scale of the website attacks -- and thus defenses in place against them. The attacks combine multiple attack techniques with massive scale, which has included maintaining sustained packet floods peaking at 70 Gbps and 30 million packets per second.

Attend Interop Las Vegas May 6-10 and learn the emerging trends in information risk management and security. Use Priority Code MPIWK by March 22 to save an additional $200 off the early bird discount on All Access and Conference Passes. Join us in Las Vegas for access to 125+ workshops and conference classes, 300+ exhibiting companies, and the latest technology. Register today!

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2001-1594
Published: 2015-08-04
GE Healthcare eNTEGRA P&R has a password of (1) entegra for the entegra user, (2) passme for the super user of the Polestar/Polestar-i Starlink 4 upgrade, (3) 0 for the entegra user of the Codonics printer FTP service, (4) eNTEGRA for the eNTEGRA P&R user account, (5) insite for the WinVNC Login, an...

CVE-2002-2445
Published: 2015-08-04
GE Healthcare Millennium MG, NC, and MyoSIGHT has a default password of (1) root.genie for the root user, (2) "service." for the service user, (3) admin.genie for the admin user, (4) reboot for the reboot user, and (5) shutdown for the shutdwon user, which has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

CVE-2002-2446
Published: 2015-08-04
GE Healthcare Millennium MG, NC, and MyoSIGHT has a password of insite.genieacq for the insite account that cannot be changed without disabling product functionality for remote InSite support, which has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

CVE-2003-1603
Published: 2015-08-04
GE Healthcare Discovery VH has a default password of (1) interfile for the ftpclient user of the Interfile server or (2) "2" for the LOCAL user of the FTP server for the Codonics printer, which has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

CVE-2004-2777
Published: 2015-08-04
GE Healthcare Centricity Image Vault 3.x has a password of (1) gemnet for the administrator account, (2) webadmin for the webadmin administrator account of the ASACA DVD library, (3) an empty value for the gemsservice account of the Ultrasound Database, and possibly (4) gemnet2002 for the gemnet2002...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!