FBI Briefs Bank Executives On DDoS Attack Campaign
FBI expedited security clearances so it could share classified info on Operation Ababil, a distributed denial of service attack that continues to disrupt U.S. financial websites.
The videoconference briefings detailed "who was behind the keyboards" of the attacks, FBI executive assistant director Richard McFeely told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit Monday, reported Reuters. McFeely is in charge of the bureau's criminal and cyber investigations.
The Operation Ababil distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which typically target a handful of the country's top banks every week, have disrupted the websites of such financial institutions as Bank of America, BB&T, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, HSBC, New York Stock Exchange, Regions Financial, SunTrust, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. The attacks have resulted in customers sometimes being unable to access online or mobile banking services.
Banks targeted as part of Operation Ababil have been frustrated by the lack of arrests or apparent progress in the case, McFeely said. But he said that some indictments -- currently under seal -- have been issued for suspects' arrest. Suggesting that the suspects are operating in countries that have no extradition treaty with the United States, he said that the hackers might be caught when they travel to other countries. "The first time we bring someone in from out of the country in handcuffs, that's going to be a big deal," he said.
McFeely said the bureau has been attempting to keep cybercrime victims up-to-date in the past, admitting that the FBI was "terrible" about doing so in the past. "That's 180 degrees from where we are now," he said.
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