US government warns banks of al-Quaeda cyber-threat

US government warns banks of al-Quaeda cyber-threat

The US government is warning financial services firms of a possible cyber attack against online stock trading and banking Web sites by Islamic militant group al-Qaeda.

According to press reports the threat, which was seen on an al-Qaeda Web site, called for the online attacks to run through the month of December in retaliation for the US keeping terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed an alert had been distributed, although spokesman Russ Knocke told reporters there was no evidence to corroborate the threat.

Knocke says the US Computer Emergency Readiness team had released a "situational awareness report to industry stakeholders" but said the alert had been issued out of "an abundance of caution".

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