On Friday 29th January HSBC, by far the largest of the UK banks, reported that its online services were taken down by a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Outages started in the morning and continued until 9pm GMT, with customers unable to access their online banking throughout the day. HSBC advised customers to visit their high street branches instead for any urgent transactions. Timing wise this couldn’t have been worse, landing right on pay day for millions of Britons, and during the annual surge of last minute HMRC Self Assessment returns (due by midnight 31st Jan).
HSBC said in a statement:
HSBC has successfully defended against the attack, and customer transactions were not affected.
We are working hard to restore services, and normal service is now being resumed.
We apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused.
Since the attack, Carl Gottlieb, host of the Command and Control Information Security podcast and Technical Director of Cognition, has been talking directly with the “New World Hackers”, who are now claiming responsibility for this denial of service attack on HSBC. Carl spoke directly with “Ownz”, founder of the New World Hackers, who said the motive for their attacks were,”tests of power, and we just wanted to see how vulnerable this big sites actually are..”
The New World Hackers (aka NWH) are notorious for their massive denial of service attack on the BBC on New Year’s Eve 2015 which brought down may of its online service including iPlayer. Read more about that attack here… Publicly the NWH have stated that their main target is ISIS websites and anyone that promotes hate, violence or corruption. Listen to their interview on the BBC attack on episode 1 of Command and Control here.
The NWH are a group of individual members and affiliates, each supporting different campaigns and bringing different skill sets (and attack tools) to the collective. The result is a very powerful group of hackers that have so far brought down many major websites including the BBC, HSBC, and the Pakistani and Syrian Governments, all in the last 30 days.
We’re hoping to speak with Ownz for a full on-air podcast interview some time soon once the heat dies down for him. For the moment he’s gone dark………
And also check out New World Hackers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewWorldHacking