The websites of several major U.S. banks, including Wells Fargo and PNC, are under cyber attack today. Reports of trouble accessing online banking are pouring into the tracking website Sitedown.co, says founder Jeff Herdell.
"They're referred to as DDoS attacks," explains Herdell. "Hackers will take over many computers and direct floods of traffic at these bank sites in hopes that the service will be disrupted and go down temporarily. So it's more of a nuisance than anything, but it's very significant right now."
Yesterday an anonymous post on a chat site urged cyber attacks against Wells Fargo, U.S. Bankcorp and PNC and referenced the anti-Muslim film that has spurred protests across the Middle East. Last week a similar post directed attacks against Bank of America.
Cyber security experts say this kind of attack requires little skill to perpetrate and typically does not involve stealing information on a bank's website. However, disrupted access requires additional manpower to address and can hurt a bank's customer service reputation.