A website of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was disrupted by a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on Friday.
“Due to a surge in internet traffic directed at the NatWest website, customers experienced difficulties accessing some of our sites today,” RBS representatives stated on Twitter following the attack.
“This deliberate surge of traffic is known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.We have taken action to restore affected sites. At no time was there any risk to customers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” they added.
It’s uncertain at this time who the perpetrators are. No hacktivist collectives have taken credit for the attack.
This is the second time in one week when RBS’ website becomes inaccessible. On Monday evening, the financial institution’s website went down due to an IT system failure.
The company’s CEO, Ross McEwan, has admitted that the Monday incident is unacceptable, particularly because the downtime occurred on Cyber Monday, a busy shopping day.
“For decades, RBS failed to invest properly in its systems. We need to put our customers' needs at the centre of all we do. It will take time, but we are investing heavily in building IT systems our customers can rely on,” McEwan said.
Since cybercriminals can leverage such incidents to send out spam emails in an effort to trick customers into installing malware or hand over their personal details, the bank has issued a security alert.
Customers are advised to treat unsolicited phone calls and emails with caution. The organization will never ask customers to hand over their full PIN or password. Suspicious activity should be reported to the RBS fraud team at 0845 300 3986, or at bank branches.