A Dedicated Denial of Service attack had left millions of users unable to access their online accounts last Friday. A DDoS attack, which is when an attack is staged that floods a website with millions of requests all at once, which is simply too much for the site to handle. Intentional surges of internet traffic are particularly common for hackers as it is very difficult to track the culprit(s) to a specific location. The attacks are devastatingly effective in halting a company’s online services, and are reasonably simple to execute. As cyber attack targets British banks on payday, customers are outraged at not being able to access their accounts in time for bills.
The attack occurred Friday evening and affected customers of RBS, Natwest and any other bank under the RBS Group. The DDoS lasted for approximately an hour, and in that time, nobody could login and access their accounts, preventing many from paying rent, bills or anything else they needed to do on the night of payday. The attack, its origins still unknown, would have had to be undertaken from thousands of computers under the control of one hacker. Even though it affected millions of users, RBS have stressed that no harm has come to anyone’s personal information or accounts.
This wasn’t the first time RBS has been the victim of a planned Dedicated Denial of Service attack, the bank was also a victim of an attack back in 2013, when a similar attack took place which prevented users from accessing the online services of the bank on a Thursday evening and a Friday lunchtime. When users first started experiencing problems with online banking, many took to social media in expressing their frustration, which alerted both Natwest and RBS to the problems. The majority of complaints that came through were triggered by the fact that it wasn’t the first time that their online banking became unaccessible.
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