Highly regarded security blogger Brian Krebs – citing a confidential U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo – has suggested that the threatened May 7 DDoS attacks against the United States may prove to be “more bark than bite.”
Krebs quoted the memo as stating that the attack “likely will result in limited disruptions and mostly consist of nuisance-level attacks against publicly accessible webpages and possibly data exploitation. Independent of the success of the attacks, the criminal hackers likely will leverage press coverage and social media to propagate an anti-U.S. message.”
The full DHS alert on the threatened distributed denial of service attacks is available here.
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Security experts have consistently told Credit Union Times that the seriousness of the May 7 attacks is uncertain. Other, much publicized attacks – such as last year’s Project Blitzkrieg – amounted to next to nothing. The same may happen on Tuesday.
The wild card in this mix is whether, or not, al Qassam Cyber Fighters will join in supporting the attacks. al Qassam, usually said to be allied with Iran, has demonstrated abilities to knock money center banks offline.
That group was purportedly involved in the DDoS attacks earlier this year that took down at least two credit union sites for a time.
Without exception, security experts indicated that if al Qassam is involved the threats are real but, so far, al Qassam has offered ambiguous, non-committal statements of its intentions regarding May 7.
Krebs, in his blog, offered this characterization of OpUSA, the group that is on the front line of the possibly May 7 attacks: They are “mostly Middle East- and North Africa-based criminal hackers."