Except for the Cult of Cyberwar and selected computer security companies sending out press releases.
I’ve tried to stay away from this one but the media has insisted on waging it.
The greatest denial of service attack in history — until next month or the month after — was aimed at America’s monster banks. And the worst the enemy could do?
In the past two weeks, customers of top U.S. banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co, U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial Services have reported having trouble accessing their websites, as unusually high traffic volumes appeared to crash or slow down the systems.
No thefts have been tied to hacked sites, but an untold number of customers were not able to pay bills or transfer money from their computers, leaving banks with remediation expenses and customer irritation as the biggest costs.
When customer irritation and trouble accessing websites are the worst things happening, it spoils the soup of previous stories which predict dire consequences for the country when the financial infrastructure is attacked in cyberspace.
Raise your hand if customer irritation accurately describes how you often feel when dealing with your giant bank.
I’m a customer of one of the banks that were targeted.
As I’ve maintained, if you polled ordinary citizens, in depth, on how they really felt about their financial institutions, you would find little regard for them.
We don’t want our financial servants protected from denial of service attacks as much as we want to be protected from the business practices of the banks.
Cyberwar against banks is a two-edged sword, one that doesn’t cut very finely or deeply. While it may be hard on the websites of financial institutions, it’s not optimum for alleged Middle East hackers because banks aren’t sympathetic entities in this country. There is no horrification at the news, perhaps a vague feeling of annoyance. At worst, for those who believe every bit of cant on cyberwar, some unease.
Big banks in this country do not inspire confidence and love in their customers. Many people hate them.
In overlooking this the attackers have probably also put a little too much in the claims from our cyberwar salesmen, specifically the assertion that America could be gravely damaged, or easily brought down by attacking its banks.
So what is resented more?
Middle East hacktivists, or Iran, making your bank’s website run slower, which you may or may not have noticed? An inconvenience?
Or the fees a bank automatically levees on your account every month, like clockwork, picking your pocket for any variety of conditions imposed by the bank in the tricks and traps economy?
Really. It’s a serious question.
The Cult of Cyberwar — from the archives.