Wells Fargo could be the latest bank to be attacked over ‘Innocence of Muslims’ YouTube video

wells fargo attacked over innocence of muslims youtube video wellsfargoWell Fargo has apparently become the latest bank affected by a series of cyber-attacks that are seemingly linked to the controversial YouTube movieThe Innocence of Muslims,with hundreds of customers said to be locked out of the bank’s website earlier today.

The attack on Wells Fargo’s site – which the bank itself acknowledged via Twitter earlier in the day – are thought to be the work of a group known as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, a group that has previously claimed responsibility for similar attacks on Bank of America, Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp, PNC and JP Morgan. Those attacks – some carried out as recently as yesterday – were part of what the group termed “Operation Ababil,” which translates to “swarm,” and have left thousands of customers unable to access their accounts online.

The group took credit for the attacks via an online post to Pastebin, a site often used by hackers to announce attacks and mission statements. According to the post, the group will target American businesses and organizations daily as part of the Ababil until the Innocence of Muslims video is removed from the Internet (They’re not the only ones calling for the video to be removed; a court in Brazil ruled today that YouTube should remove the video immediately, as well).

Not everyone believes that the attacks have anything to do with the amateur-looking hate-speech video that has incited violence across the Middle East, however. Dmitri Alperovitch of the private security firm CrowdStrike, believes that Izz as-Din al-Qassam is using the video to draw attention to itself and act as a smokescreen for its true aims. “We believe claiming this has something to do with the video is a ruse,” he said, pointing out that the group has apparently been active for months by this point, with attacks dating back as early as this summer.

That’s not the only interesting thing about the attacks, Alperovitch points out. Even though the attacks have been annoying for both the banks involved and their customers, they haven’t actually been that dangerous, considering. “It’s important to note that nobody’s information has been compromised,” Alperovitch reported, adding that he believes that “no data has been stolen” at all so far (The attacks have all been Dedicated Denial of Service – or DDoS attacks – so far, which essentially slow down a website by pushing a level of traffic towards it that overwhelms the server). As such, the attacks have been more nuisances than anywhere near as damaging as they could otherwise turn out.

That relative harmlessness is, ironically, persuading experts that the attacks are not state-sponsored. When asked by the New York Times, the FBI reported that – as a matter of policy – it could not comment on whether or not it was investigating the attacks.

Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

A second Wells Fargo glitch results in the foreclosure of more homes

A computer error has struck Wells Fargo once again, resulting in hundreds more homes being mistakenly foreclosed after a first glitch was reported in August. To compensate one customer, the bank sent a check for $25,000.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.