Posted: 10:12 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012

Bank of America's website possibly hacked

By Sarah Rosario

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Bank of America may be the latest victim in a series of attacks in response to an American made film leaked online last week mocking the Islam community.

Data from a testing monitoring company called Keynote showed the problems began for the bank around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Customers reported complications logging onto the website to check balances, transfer money, or to make a payment.

While a bank spokesperson said customers could be experiencing occasional slowness, many people told Eyewitness News they couldn't log onto to the site and when they did they noticed longer than usual wait times.

After alleged threats surfaced online of a cyber-attack against the bank and other U.S. targets to protest a film stirring anger in the Middle East, we reached out to an expert to get answers.

Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker told us that he doesn't believe Jihadist groups would be behind this.

"We see state sponsored hacking from countries actually trying to steal trade secrets and trying to have a strategic capability. We see criminal organizations especially European organizations and we see hacktivist groups. Those are the three most capable groups," Swecker said.

Reuters reported a group called cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam said it would attack Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a first step in a campaign against properties of American-Zionist Capitalists.

"Jihadist organizations have always been fixated on the financial sector, that's why they hit the World Trade Center twice. They believe it's always been a symbol of capitalism, so financial institutions have always been a target," said Swecker.

Reuters reported this statement was posted on an internet bulletin board where hackers often post threats: "This attack will continue until the erasing of that nasty movie. Beware this attack can vary in type."

Eyewitness News reached out to Bank of America, asking if its website was victim to a denial of service attack, a technique hackers use to flood websites to make them unavailable to its users. Spokesperson Mark Pipitone said, "I can tell you that we continuously take proactive measures to secure our systems."

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