Protestors of Online Video Insulting Prophet Muhammad Target Websites of U.S. Banks
The violent protests in the Middle East that were sparked by an online video that insults the prophet Muhammad have turned to cyber-attacks against some of the largest banks here in the U.S.
The online attacks made Wells Fargo's website unusable to the bank's 21 million customers for most of today. Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase were also all hit earlier. U.S. Bancorp and PNC Bank are said to be next on the list.
The sudden disruptions were caused by what are commonly referred to as distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, in which a large number of computers will simultaneously hit a website, causing the site to completely crash or operate at a snail's pace.
A group calling itself the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters has claimed responsibility for the attacks and says they will continue until that controversial video is taken offline.
These attacks are not only inconvenient to consumers, but for the most part are unstoppable according to experts, since the attackers use thousands of computers all around the world to mount the simultaneous attacks that overwhelm the sites.
Wells Fargo issued a statement saying "We are working to quickly resolve this issue. Customers can still access their accounts through our ATMs, stores and by phone."