In the past week, a hacktivist group known as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam launched distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against the sites of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. These incidents unearthed the fact that in the past year, a number of American financial institutions had suffered from cyberattacks launched from Iran.
The attacks from last week appeared to be connected to the controversial clips and drawings featuring the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
Major media companies – including Reuters, NBC News and the Chicago Tribune – learned that Muslim hackers, and ones from Iran in particular, had launched numerous attacks against the systems of Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the past period.
The anonymous sources could not say if the government entities were behind the attacks, or if that was a hacktivist campaign, but they did point the finger at Iran.
After the news broke out, Iranian officials came forward, denying any implication in these attacks, Fars News Agency informs
Head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization Gholam Reza Jalali told the agency that the country never “hacked” financial institutions from the United States. Jalali claims that the reports are nothing but an attempt to “demonize” Iran.
He believes that Israel and the US are trying to justify the cyberattacks they launch against Iranian infrastructures.
The latest attacks against US banks, the ones for which Izz ad-Din al-Qassam took credit
, appear to be the work of hacktivists, and they don’t seem to represent the interests of any particular country, but the ones of Muslims worldwide.
However, this is highly debatable, because any country could launch such attacks - under the cover of activism - to hide its identity and the true purpose of the campaign.