Finnish bank hit with DDoS attack

Finnish bank OP Pohjola Group hasn’t had the brightest start to 2015. A DDoS attack left the bank’s online services and ATMs unusable by some of its customers.

The bank released a statement on the second day of the attack:

“OP’s services experienced some problems on New Year’s Eve due to data communications disruptions. The disruptions were caused by a denial-of-services attack. The attack flooded OP’s data communications systems and prevented customers’ banking. During the disruption, online services were not available and cash withdrawals could not be made from ATMs. There were also some difficulties in card payments.

“The disruption was detected at about 16.30 on New Year’s Eve. The services started to function again at times and were completely restored and available to customers after midnight. Nevertheless, further disruptions are possible as the corrective measures are still ongoing and the security level of data traffic has been raised for the time being. Customers abroad may still have difficulties in logging in to OP’s online services.”

As of 5 January, the attack was still ongoing but it is believed to have stopped now.

OP was not the only target in recent DDoS attacks. The Finnish branch of Nordea Bank and the Danish Danske Bank have also suffered from online disruptions of late. Nordea confirmed that it was victim of a DDoS attack, and has called in police to investigate.

DDoS attacks becoming more common

In the last few months, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of DDoS attacks and I expect 2015 will be even worse.

Lizard Squad, the ‘hacking’ group claiming responsibility for attacks on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, has just released an inexpensive DDoS attacking tool. For as little as €6, miscreants can knock a target offline for 100 seconds.

While this isn’t the only tool of its type available on the market, this one has had far more publicity and is likely to draw in wannabe hackers – most of whom have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.

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