Iran Denies Involvement With US Bank Hacking
September 24, 2012

Iran Claims It Did Not Have A Hand In Denial Of Service Attacks

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Officials with the Iranian government are denying reports that they are responsible for a series of attacks on a trio of US banks over the past year.

On Friday, Reuters reporters Jim Finkle and Rick Rothacker said that sources familiar with the attacks told them that Iranian hackers had "repeatedly" targeted Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup websites since late last year.

"The attacks, which began in late 2011 and escalated this year, have primarily been 'denial of service' campaigns that disrupted the banks' websites and corporate networks by overwhelming them with incoming web traffic," sources told Finkle and Rothacker. "They said there was evidence suggesting the hackers targeted the three banks in retaliation for their enforcement of Western economic sanctions against Iran. Whether the hackers have been able to inflict more serious damage on computer networks or steal critical data is not yet known."

Approximately 48 hours later, Iran Civil Defense Organization head Gholam Reza Jalali denied those accusations, telling the Fars News Agency (FNA) that the US was attempting to, in the news agency's words, "portray the country as a global threat to cyber security and justify the US and Israeli cyber attacks on Iran."

Sources reportedly told NBC News last week that the attacks on the websites of the three financial institutions had been carried out by the government of Iran, and that claims that the attacks were in response to an anti-Islamic video posted online was being used as a cover story to mask the hackers' true motives.

"The attack was described by one source, a former U.S. official familiar with the attacks, to NBC News, as being 'significant and ongoing' and looking to cause 'functional and significant damage.' Also, one source suggested the attacks were in response to U.S. sanctions on Iranian banks," an NBC News/Reuters report published Sunday said.

Those sources, the FNA countered, "did not present any evidence to corroborate their claims against Iran."

Bank of America's consumer banking website was unavailable to some customers last Tuesday, as was JP Morgan Chase's the following day, NBC News reporters Robert Windrem and Jim Miklaszewski said late last week. Both were linked by multiple sources to a denial of service attack. A similar problem was experienced Wednesday by Chase, who did not confirm that they had been attacked, they added.