Online problems experienced by Lloyds Banking Group earlier this month were the work of an international criminal gang, the Financial Times reports.
The UK banking group experienced intermittent outages for two days running as it allegedly fell victim to a distributed denial of service attack. Other UK banks were targeted in the take-down, but only Lloyds' customers were affected.
The breach hit all banks operating under the Lloyds brand, including Halifax and Bank of Scotland. TSB, which was carved out of Lloyds last year but still runs on the bank's tech platform, also experienced problems.
As the bank struggled to get its services back online it received a ransom demand for 100 bitcoin £75,000 disguised as a "consultancy fee" to reveal "security issues" that affected its online banking accounts.
The bank has yet to confirm or deny the reports, which are attributed to unidentified sources. It has yet to offer a public explanation for the downtime.