International

Hackers Knock Swedish Bank Offline

In what could be the result of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the Swedish website of Swedbank was brought down early Friday morning (Nov. 6) by hackers.

As Reuters reported, the attack resulted in customers being unable to perform any online transactions or conduct communications with the bank online. Swedbank confirmed that mobile application and payment functionality had not been impacted by the attack.

The cyberattack marks the second time Swedbank has been a victim to cybercriminals in recent months, with the last cyberattack taking place in October.

Speaking to Reuters about the attack, Swedbank spokesman Claes Warren said: “It is not the first time and it will probably not be the last one,” adding that he was unable to confirm when normal online services would resume.

DDoS attacks have become a popular weapon in cybercriminals’ arsenals in order to get companies to pay up. The criminals are able to extort businesses by threatening to jam up websites with meaningless traffic until their demands are met.

In a survey of 510 companies conducted by analytics firm Neustar earlier this year, 91 percent said DDoS attacks haven’t decreased as a threat in the past year, 85 percent reported multiple attacks and 31 percent said their longest attacks lasted more than one day.

Nearly one-third said they lose more than $100,000 in revenue per hour while DDoS attacks are going on.

And many would rather just pay up than face the consequences.

After noticing an increased “frequency and severity” in the number of hackers attempting to extort financial institutions, U.S. financial regulators have put out a serious warning to banks and credit unions to keep their networks protected from unauthorized access.

“Cyberattacks against financial institutions to extort payment in return for the release of sensitive information are increasing. Financial institutions should address this threat by conducting ongoing cybersecurity risk assessments and monitoring of controls and information systems,” the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council said in a press release. “In addition, financial institutions should have effective business continuity plans to respond to this type of cyberattack to ensure resiliency of operations.”

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