Rhode Islanders react to cyber attacks on banking websites - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Islanders react to cyber attacks on banking websites

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At least six U.S. banks have already been targeted by Middle Eastern hackers, locking customers out of their checking and savings accounts.

These attacks aren't your average run of the mill hacks.

The hackers aren't stealing any money, right now, they're just freezing accounts, and shutting–down entire banking websites, including banking giants like Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Former national security official Richard Clarke says that the attacks are unprecedented.

"This is the first time that we know about, where a Middle Eastern entity, perhaps a middle eastern government has attacked websites of critical infrastructure in the United States." said Clarke.

The group behind the outages is using thousands of secretly hacked computers, called zombies, to shut the websites down.

So far the hacks have only made the banks' websites unusable, no accounts have been drained.

But given the scope of the attacks, some online banking customers are worried that if the attacks continue, they could end up losing money.

"(With) online banking the money's not in your hand. The bank slips not in your hand. It's on a computer screen and you don't know exactly if that screens being altered by somebody else." said Providence's Tyler Ferris.

Online attacks like these could be devastating, if the hackers decide to start playing around with people's money, which makes those who still bank the old fashioned way, glad that they aren't wheeling and dealing online.

"Most of my friends do online banking and they're always wondering why I don't and so something like this, just reaffirms kinda my gut instinct about it. I mean people being able to hack into accounts, that's what scares me the most." said Providence's Mollie Hackett.

 

 

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