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October 19, 2012

Ally Financial: Next Victim?

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

In a rash of recent cyber-attacks against United States banks, Ally Financial, Incorporated said it has monitored unusual activity on its website and believes that it has become the next victim in a wave of attacks targeted towards financial institutes with links to Iran. Wells Fargo (News - Alert), Bank of America and others have experienced “denial of service” attacks that are often associated with hackers artificially flood the website’s traffic volume in order to slow down the speed of the website.

With cyber-attacks on the rise, consumers may feel that they have good reason to be worried about their personal information; however, Ally Financial assures that those who bank with them are perfectly safe. Gina Proia, a spokeswoman for Ally Financial, has said, “There has been no customer impact related to unusual activity, and there is no indication of security concerns pertaining to customer information." The attacks appear to target the speed and accessibility of the website under attack, instead of seeking information about its customers, thus causing the customer to be irritated with the website.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The United States Department of Defense has urged large corporations to increase their defense against cyber-attacks as this appears to be part of a year-long crusade by Iranian hackers against United States financial institutions and major corporations. Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-din Al Qassam has laid claim to being behind these recent attacks aimed at congesting corporate websites. The group says the attacks are actually a protest again the anti-Islamic movie that was posted on YouTube (News - Alert), Innocence of Muslims.

Although there is nothing for consumers to be worried about at present, it is unclear whether or not this will to develop into a more serious concern than annoyance with a bank’s website. The fact that these groups are attacking bank websites, which have access to a great deal of personal and financial information, points to “yes.”

Edited by Rich Steeves
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