The hacker group that disrupted U.S. Bancorp’s website in September has struck again.
 
At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Bancorp officials detected “unusual and coordinated high traffic volume” on usbank.com, company spokesman Tom Joyce told Twin Cities Business in an e-mail. The attack is designed to slow down the website, and visitors to the site might experience “intermittent delays” throughout the day as a result, Joyce said.
 
“We can assure customers that their data and funds are secure,” he added, and the company is “working closely with federal law enforcement officials on the issue.”
 
The disruption is similar to the one that the bank’s website experienced in September and that was believed to be part of a coordinated series of cyber attacks on the nation’s largest banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, Bank of America Corporation, and Wells Fargo & Company.
 
The latest attack came two days after hacker group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, which claimed responsibility for the September attacks, threatened to launch another round of disruptions aimed at U.S. Bancorp and four other banks.
 
A Monday post on document-sharing website PasteBin, believed to be shared by the hacker group, indicates that the latest round of attacks will also target the websites of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, and SunTrust Banks.
 
“In [the] new phase, the wideness and the number of attacks will increase explicitly, and offenders and subsequently their governmental supporters will not be able to imagine and forecast the widespread and greatness of these attacks,” the hacker group purportedly wrote in its post.
 
Joyce said Wednesday that the latest attack is similar to what banks experienced during the first round of attacks. U.S. Bancorp’s website appeared to be loading properly early Wednesday afternoon.
 
The hacker group, whose members have remained anonymous, said that the attacks are in protest of a YouTube video called “The Innocence of Muslims.” The video is part of an anti-Islamic movement, and the attacks will stop if the video is removed from YouTube, the group said.
 
U.S. Bancorp is among Minnesota’s 10 largest public companies based on annual revenue and is the state’s largest bank holding company based on assets, which totaled $349 billion as of June 30.

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