Cyber attacks on U.S. Banks expose Internet vulnerability

Cyber attacks on the biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., have breached some of the nation’s most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of its infrastructure…

The attack, which a U.S. official yesterday said was waged by a still-unidentified group outside the country, flooded bank websites with traffic, rendering them unavailable to consumers and disrupting transactions for hours at a time.

Such a sustained network attack ranks among the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the National Security Agency, according to the U.S. official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The extent of the damage may not be known for weeks or months, said the official, who has access to classified information…

While the group is using a method known as distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, to overwhelm financial-industry websites with traffic from hijacked computers, the attacks have taken control of commercial servers that have much more power, according to the specialists.

“The notable thing is the volume and the scale of the traffic that’s been directed at these sites, and that’s very rare,” Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO of Palo Alto, California-based security firm CrowdStrike…

President Barack Obama’s administration is circulating a draft executive order that would create a program to shield vital computer networks from cyber attacks…

The U.S. Senate last month failed to advance comprehensive cybersecurity legislation and the administration is contemplating using the executive order because it’s not certain that Congress can pass a cybersecurity bill, officials said.

So, aside from a qualitatively new style of DDOS attack on Web operability, we are reminded once more of the incompetence of the elected officials taking up space in Congress.

Which irks you the most? Irresponsible script kiddies masquerading as hackers or irresponsible ideologues masquerading as politicians?

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