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"Cyber Fighters" target major U.S. banks

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The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters have announced another round of DDoS attacks against American financial institutions via their Pastebin account.

These “cyber fighters,” who have not been identified, but whose name references the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for a previous round of bank attacks in September and October, which they said were carried out in retribution for the YouTube anti-Islam film, “The Innocence of Muslims.”

“Now, we acclaim that the second phase of the Ababil operation is in ahead and from this week according to the announced plan, will be performed. In new phase, the wideness and the number of attacks will increase explicitly; and offenders and subsequently their governmental supporters will not be able to imagine and forecast the widespread and greatness of these attacks.”

According to the group, the rationale for this round of alleged attacks against U.S. banks remains hurt feelings.

“They didnt pay any attention to the extensive complaints made by Muslims against this offend,” they wrote, “and also did not take in to account their damaged feelings and behave with them so rudely. We know that they only marked the sensitivity and honor of the Muslims.”

The targets identified in Monday’s Pastebin post are U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co.,  Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group and SunTrust.

As The Hacker News notes, “While the perpetrators behind the al-Qassam attacks have yet to be identified, the name (of the group) is a reference to the armed wing of Hamas,”

American Banker reported that on Tuesday, PNC customers had difficulties logging onto their accounts online. The site has "experienced an unusual volume of Internet traffic,” indicating a DDoS attack might be taking place.

A spokesperson told FOX Business that Bank of America is "aware of the reports of possible cyberattacks and [is] monitoring [its] systems, which are fully operational." However, some users reported BOA’s “website was intermittently inaccessible Tuesday.” Sitedown.co reported 668 users reporting access problems Tuesday night, versus 995 for the entire previous week.

Another group is also threatening banking sites, but made no public threats and seemed to be focusing on old-fashioned theft more than the redress of bruised feelings.

A Russian hacking group has infected a number of computer systems with a virus designed to siphon off account holder’s funds. The virus, which was identified by McAffee Labs, was in place for some time and scheduled to go active after the new year.

This campaign, called “Project Blitzkrieg,” had targeted Fidelity, E*Trade, Charles Schwab, PayPal, Citibank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and Capital One, among others.

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