With more than a dozen major bank Web sites targeted in DDoS attacks over the last month, financial institutions need to take steps to ensure they don't become the latest victims, warns the US Financial Services Roundtable's technology unit, Bits.
Bank of America, HSBC and Wells Fargo have been among the organisations to see their online services disrupted in recent weeks, with sites overwhelmed by floods of traffic.
A group calling itself the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-din Al Qassam has claimed credit for the attacks, which it says are in retaliation for the release of a film mocking the prophet Mohammed.
The group has been posting weekly statements on Pastebin outlining targets for the days ahead, although in its latest missive it has promised to take a break for Eid al-Adha.
Bits is urging banks to review their strategies for patching IT systems, scan networks and manage bandwidth to minimise the number of non-attack related issues.
They should also coordinate with ISPs and other service providers to implement controls such as scrubbing, rate limiting and source blocking. External-facing assets and applications should be assessed and communications strategies reviewed to include incident notification for both internal and external parties
Banks should also participate in the FS-ISAC and share actionable information to protect other institutions as well as inform their primary regulator of any attacks.
In its latest Pastebin statement, the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-din Al Qassam has also stressed that its attacks are designed purely to disrupt services and that no money or data is stolen.
This comes after another organisation, claiming affiliation to Anonymous, said that it was responsible for the HSBC attack and that it had stolen the details of 20,000 customer debit cards:
The group has not provided definitive evidence that it has the card data but is promising to target more banks in the near future.