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Anonymous cell: Shove off, credit-hoggers, WE took down HSBC

Hacktivist splinter group claims responsibility for packet flood

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Updated An Anonymous-affiliated group has claimed responsibility for attacks that left HSBC websites worldwide knocked offline on Thursday night.

UK-based Fawkes Security claimed responsibility for the digital sit-in via a post to Pastebin.

As some of you may be aware HSBC bank suffered several DDoS attacks on the named sites in the past hours us.hsbc.com hsbc.co.uk hsbc.com hsbc.ca they were all brought down by #FawkesSecurity. Before any claim fags attempt to take ownership of this attack, the proof is all in our Twitter account, Targets, time and date :) @FawkesSecurity

Several posts in @FawkesSecurity's timeline (such as this) provide circumstantial evidence to support its claim that it launched what it variously describes as #OpHSBC and #OpDosLikeABoss. In a YouTube video the group said it was holding back on its reason for the attack.

Previously it was thought that HSBC was hit by Muslim hacktivists as part of a threatened extension of their campaign of denial of service attacks against US banks last month in protest against the controversial Innocence of Muslims video pulled from YouTube. This is now looking much less likely.

In a series of statements, HSBC said that it managed to restore normal access to internet banking services as all its affected websites (in the US, Canada and the UK) by 03.00 BST on Friday, 19 October. It stressed that customer data was never at risk.

Some reports suggest purchases using debit cards issued by HSBC might also have been affected, but this remains unconfirmed.

Security experts are beginning to analyse the attack, with early indications suggesting it was probably a mixture of brute-force flooding as well as more sophisticated application-layer attacks. Zombie bots are a likely source of the attack traffic, if recent experience is anything to go by, but this too remains unconfirmed.

FawkesSecurity has been in touch since this story was published, and told El Reg in a Twitter exchange: "We'll be targeting other banks in the future, as well as any other sites we see worth attacking."

Asked why it was interested in targeting banks, FawkesSecurity said "It's their fault that the worlds economics are so messed up".®

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