NEWS

Banks ward off hackers’ threat

banks-ward-off-hackers-threat

A group of hackers called Armada Collective last week threatened to bring down the websites of several Greek banks unless they were paid 50 bitcoins, or more than 17,000 euros, but the banks’ systems were sufficiently bolstered to deflect the attack, Kathimerini has learned.

The group issued its threat last Thursday, warning that it would overload the online systems of major Greek banks unless it was paid a ransom. The deadline given to the banks was yesterday. To demonstrate their abilities, the hackers knocked out the online service of one Greek bank for half an hour.

Responding to the hackers’ threats, officials of the Bank of Greece, the key Greek banks, the Greek Police’s Cyber Crime Unit and the National Authority Against Electronic Attacks, which is part of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), met over the weekend along with representatives of the banks’ Internet service providers. They decided to bolster the banks’ online security systems. The banks were already relatively secure following additional measures that were taken this summer with the imposition of capital controls.

Banking sources told Kathimerini that there was no problem with the security of banking transactions or with the personal data of bank accounts or bank cards.

Armada Collective has made similar threats in the past in other countries, targeting a company in Switzerland and banks in Thailand. A recent attack on the company ProtonMail, which is based in Switzerland and offers e-mail encryption services, resulted in the hackers pocketing 15 bitcoins, more than 5,000 euros.