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TMCNet:  PNC apologizes to those caught up in efforts to thwart cyberattacks

[January 04, 2013]

PNC apologizes to those caught up in efforts to thwart cyberattacks

Jan 04, 2013 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- PNC Bank is apologizing to customers who may were inadvertently caught up in efforts to thwart cyberattacks on its online and mobile banking websites.

In an email to customers on Thursday night, Downtown-based PNC said for several weeks it has tried to block high volumes of traffic directed at its website during the attacks, known as denial-of-service attacks.

"In some cases, those measures also may have blocked access to a small percentage of legitimate PNC customers for an extended period," the bank said. "We sincerely apologize to those affected." PNC and a few other large U.S. banks have been hit with occasional denial-of-service attacks since a cyber hacking group said on Dec. 10 that it planned to launch an assault. The same group, calling itself al Qassam Cyber Fighters Group, hit PNC and other banks in September, crippling PNC's website for two days.

The attacks attempt to overwhelm a website with a flood of traffic, which then prevents legitimate users from accessing the site. PNC said customer financial and personal information has not been affected.

"Please be assured that PNC's website is protected by sophisticated encryption strategies that shield customer information and accounts," the bank said.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

___ (c)2013 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib Distributed by MCT Information Services

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