September 19, 2012
Security is becoming a prominent issue among companies. Even national banks are not immune to attacks from cybercriminals, which serves as a reminder to consumers and business owners of the importance of data protection.
According to Reuters, Bank of America was the target of a hacker attempt that resulted in website and mobile app outages and slowness. The "cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam" claimed to be responsible for the attack against the second largest U.S. bank when it posted a message on Pastebin early Tuesday. The note said that the attack was a retaliation for posting the "Innocence of Muslims" film, which mockingly portrays the Prophet Muhammad and was made using private funds in the United States, according to the news source. The cyber group wrote that they would not cease the attacks until the movie is removed.
The hackers also warned the public of a similar invasion that will target the New York Stock Exchange, which has yet to occur.
According to experts, the threat was deemed as a denial-of-service attack, intended to make a resource unavailable to all of its users. Mark Pipitone of Bank of America told Reuters that no attack has been detected, and that the company is taking measures to secure its computer system.
GoDaddy, a web hosting provider for businesses, recently experienced a similar situation when its website, along with thousands of its subscribers' pages, went down. A hacker group claimed to be responsible for infiltrating the company's server. GoDaddy's spokesperson, however, insisted that the issue was not a result of a cyber strike, according to CNet.
Security against cybercriminals
WhiteHat Security's chief strategy officer, Bill Pennington, said companies need to understand that hackers have become part of "the landscape we live in today," and that to save organizations from data and monetary loss, network security measures should be implemented.
Whether or not the bank's website experienced problems because of hackers, decision makers should integrate protections to inhibit a criminal from gaining access to customer data. Security softwares and firewalls can help protect company information. Backups and disaster recovery plans should also be considered in case the business loses all of its data. Customers should institute their own privacy controls for personal devices, including password protections.
Security should not be an option for businesses to ensure data protection.
-McAfee Cloud Security