[ISN] Islamic jihackers — coming soon to a bank near you

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/willardfoxton2/100008522/ By Willard Foxton Tech business The Telegraph December 18th, 2012 While our fumbling politicians and toothless regulators aren’t having much success at dealing with out-of-control, too-big-to fail-banks, it seems that online cyber-jihadis are having some success in damaging them. Last week, a group calling itself the “Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters” (named for an islamic militant killed by British Troops in Palestine in the 1930s) issued a warning on Pastebin that it would target US banks, in protest over YouTube not removing the film The Innocence of Muslims. Since then, they’ve made good on their threat. Institutions including Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, and SunTrust have seen large-scale denial of service attacks on their websites, which successfully brought down online banking services this week. It’s only a matter of time before cyber-activists – be they islamists, anti-capitalists, or just kids having a laugh – target British banks. The trouble is, UK banking technology isn’t really up to resisting sophisticated attacks. Almost all our banks rely on old, unusually vulnerable systems at critical points in their architecture. We all remember the huge RBS outage earlier this year; it was caused by outdated systems using different programming languages failing to talk to each other. That wasn’t the only broken system; it was just the first one the UK media noticed. On New Year’s Eve last year, Lloyds TSB chip and pin machines double-charged 200,000 transactions, because the antique programming language that underpinned the system went wrong; in Australia in 2010 a catastrophic failure at National Australia Bank stopped customers being able to use their debit cards for over a week. […]
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