World Bulletin / News Desk
The websites of the Czech central bank and several top commercial banks came under attack from hackers on Wednesday, slowing or shutting down some online services and adding to a series of such attacks across Europe in recent weeks.
The attacks, caused by flooding systems with digital requests that overwhelm servers, followed a similar wave of assaults on the Czech Republic's main news websites on Monday and Tuesday.
Central bank spokesman Marek Petrus said the attack seemed to affect only the bank's externally-sourced website.
"Our supplier confirmed that we have also been the target of an attack," he said.
The central bank uses the website for public announcements and release of economic data, but no such announcements were due in the coming hours, Petrus said.
Earlier on Wednesday, commercial banks said their websites came under hacker attack, shutting down their internet banking and other online services.
The online banking websites of Erste Group Bank's Ceska Sporitelna, KBC's CSOB and Societe Generale's Komercni Banka, along with the sites of some smaller banks, were affected, the banks said.
"Komercni Banka registered a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on its portals," a spokeswoman said. A DDoS attack is intended to cause a suspension or interruption of a host's internet connection.
"In no way has there been a leak of client data," she added.
The attacks against top Czech news websites earlier this week, which slowed or crashed their home pages, was the latest in a series of cyber assaults on media outlets around the world.
Campaign group the Committee to Protect Journalists said last month attacks on media organisations were on the rise and hackers were being hired to target reporters and websites by bodies trying to censor news outlets.
The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have both said that cyber attacks targeting them in January originated in China.
In a separate and potentially more damaging spate of attacks in recent weeks, hackers have also targeted dozens of computer systems at government agencies in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania and other European counties, exploiting a security flaw in Adobe Systems Inc's software, researchers said last week.
That attack could have siphoned off data from infected computers.
Romania's security service said it believed another state was behind that attack, dubbed "MiniDuke", that hit its national security institutions as well as NATO. It did not name the suspected state.Last Mod: 06 Mart 2013, 13:07