Swedish military computers were hacked and then used in targeting major banks of United States in 2013, the armed forces said on Monday. The attack pounded out the web pages of about 20 major banks US Banks including financial institutions fitfully for some days.
Swedish Military Servers Hacked, Used For Targeting US Banks in 2013
Military Spokesperson, Mikael Abramsson said that a server in the Swedish defense system had a bug which was utilized by the hackers for carrying attacks, according to AFP.
“The hacking attack was a kind of wake-up call for us and forced us to take very specific security steps to prevent such a thing from happening again,” Abramsson said.
“We cannot be more specific about the new security measures we put in place, but such an attack could not happen again.”
The servers were reportedly used in carrying DDoS attack [abbreviated as distributed denial of service] which targeted websites of US financial institutions among them Citigroup, HSBC and Capital One.
The attack was carried in 2012 and prolonged for several months, making it one of the biggest attack ever carried. US officials held Iran responsible for this, evincing that it was in revenge for political sanctions and some “earlier cyber attacks on its own systems”.
Besides utilization of Swedish military servers for attack, other numerous servers vulnerable were exploited in the attack and they jointly triggered Internet traffic jam and this was so strong that it pounded out the banks websites.
“We normally have a good eye on our stuff. This mistake is about the human factor,” Dan Eriksson, IT security expert with the Swedish armed forces, told Swedish daily DN.
A distributed denial of service [DDoS] attacks takes place when many systems rush the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, generally one or more web servers.
Security Experts said that “Attackers reportedly infected datacentres which were used to host services in the Internet Cloud and confiscated enormous computing power across the world to support the DDos attacks”.
American Company, Neustar which secures companies from becoming victims of such attacks, said that they can result in the loss of about $100,000 to the financial institutions an hour.