Authorities in Indonesia and South Korea have told Reuters about recent DDOS attacks aimed at the websites of their central banks.
Both Bank Indonesia and Bank of Korea took action by blocking IPs from parts of the globe they don’t usually see login attempts from. A Bank Indonesia spokesperson told Reuters that their institution blocked access from 149 countries in particular.
DDoS attacks are carried out using botnets. Botnets are a collection of hacked computers that act in sync based on orders received from the hackers, who control them with the help of a master server, called a C&C (command and control) server.
Usually, the infected machines are spread all over the world, and that’s why blocking IPs from some parts of the world might stymy such attacks. This is usually considered an extreme measure.
DDoS attacks used to mask more serious intrusions
The banking industry is on pins and needless right now, as most organizations are afraid of cyber-attacks and hacks similar to the ones suffered by the central bank of Bangladesh.
Last February, hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh’s central by hacking the SWIFT inter-bank transaction system.
DDoS attacks are regularly used to mask more serious intrusions, as they keep IT staff busy with repelling the attacks, while hackers use other methods of infiltrating their systems. None of the two banks reported other incidents.
No actual evidence that Anonymous was behind the attacks
Without knowing who exactly carried out the attacks, authorities are now putting the blame on Anonymous, who announced last May a series of attacks aimed at banks around the world.
OpIcarus, as their campaign was called, lasted only for the month of May, and the group shifted focus to stock markets in June, and that’s how OpMayhem started. Additionally, Ghost Squad Hackers, one of the most active Anonymous subdivisions, launched OpSilence, aimed at mainstream media.
Normally, such groups carry out the attacks and spend as much time bragging about what they did on Twitter. There was no chatter from known Anonymous hackers regarding DDoS attacks on the infrastructure of these two banks.