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TMCNet:  Hackers threaten to resume cyberattacks on banks

[February 26, 2013]

Hackers threaten to resume cyberattacks on banks

Feb 26, 2013 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A computer hacking group that claimed responsibility for months of cyberattacks on U.S. banks said it hit about a dozen bank websites on Monday as it continues to demand removal of anti-Muslim videos from YouTube.

The al Qassam Cyber Fighters, which previously crippled many U.S. banking websites between September and January with so-called denial-of-service attacks, issued an "ultimatum" Tuesday warning of a new round of attacks.

"This is the last al-qassam's ultimatum to U.S. government, and, we announce that if the insulting films are not removed in the following days the Operation Ababil will be started again next week, March 5, 2013," the group wrote on Internet message board Pastebin.com.

The group, which U.S. officials and Internet security experts believe is a front for the Iranian government, said it launched a one-day attack Monday against Bank of America, PNC Bank, CapitalOne, Zions Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Comerica, Citizens Bank and several others to demonstrate the "seriousness" of its demands.

Denial-of-service attacks flood a website with traffic, which can overwhelm it and keep legitimate users from gaining access.

In late January the group said it was suspending its attacks after a YouTube video that insulted the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was taken down from the site. But four other videos that remain online continue to draw the group's ire.

Officials with Pittsburgh-based PNC and Citizens Bank, which is the second-largest bank in Pittsburgh, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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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