September 24, 2012, 11:33 AM — Iran is being accused of launching cyberattacks against U.S.-based banks that include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, an accusation that yesterday was firmly rejected by the head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization.
Over the weekend, a Reuters article, based on unnamed sources, made the claim that Iranian hackers have struck the three large banks mainly through denial-of-service (DoS) attacks targeting the banks' websites and corporate networks. According to the Reuters article, the attacks originated in Iran over the past year, and it's not known whether they are state-sponsored, groups working on behalf of the government or something else unrelated. NBC News also carried a report to that effect.
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Yesterday, The Fars News Agency in Iran, in its English version, rejected the "western media reports," and included a statement from the head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization, Gholam Reza Jalali, saying, "Iran has not hacked the U.S. banks."
Jalali is quoted as saying that "these reports are aimed at demonizing Iran in cyberspace to portray the country as a global threat to cyber security and justify the U.S. and Israeli cyber attacks on Iran."
That reference was apparently made to the cyberweapon Stuxnet, the malware that is now known to have been developed by the U.S. and Israel and was used under direct command of President Obama to attack Iran in a covert action at an Iranian facility to try and stop what's widely suspected to be Iran's effort to develop a nuclear weapon.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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