Bank Of America Website Stuck in Prolonged Slowdown

Bank of America’s website was sluggish and intermittently unavailable for many users on Tuesday, in an outage that the bank hadn’t explained by the end of the day.

Bank of America Corp’s online banking site suffered intermittent problems on Tuesday amid threats on the Internet that a group was planning to launch cyber attacks on the bank and other U.S. targets to protest a film that has stirred unrest in the Middle East. Photo: Kati Drisc/Flickr

Some Bank of America Corp customers in the United States said on Tuesday they were having trouble logging into its online banking website, reviving memories of a serious outage last fall.

Accordng to CNN, Bank of America spokesman Mark Pipitone said the company is “working to ensure full availability,” and that online banking is available “although some customers may experience occasional slowness.”

The bank’s official Twitter account also sent similar messages to customers who complained about the issues.

The problems with Bank of America’s site come amid threats on the Internet that a group was planning to launch cyber attacks on the bank and otherU.S. targets to protest a film that has stirred unrest in the Middle East.

Someone claiming to represent “cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam” said it would attack the Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a “first step” in a campaign against properties of “American-Zionist Capitalists,” Yahoo writes.

“This attack will continue until the Erasing of that nasty movie. Beware this attack can vary in type,” said the statement on an internet bulletin board known as pastebin.com, where hackers often post such threats. It was not possible to verify the identity of the person who posted the statement.

According to Fox News, a “Izz ad-din Al qassam Brigades” has claimed responsibility on PasteBin, which is a forum commonly used by these types of groups, including Anonymous, to issue threats or to brag about cyber attacks. In addition to the BofA attack, Izz ad-din Al qassam also said it is targeting the website of the New York Stock Exchange.

However, the source believes the outage was related to the threats issued on PasteBin against Bank of America and said that while it could be “just a big coincidence” it’s “not likely.”

“It appears that the Radical Islamists have found the Group Anonymous playbook,” the source said.

Asked whether the website was the victim of a denial-of-service attack, Pipitone said: “I can tell you that we continuously take proactive measures to secure our systems.”

“It’s possible that something Bank of America has done on its end, some kind of change, caused the problem,” said Aaron Rudger, Keynote’s senior marketing manager of Web performance. The bank’s homepage looked different before the trouble began, he said.

Earlier this month, a person affiliated with the hacktivist collective Anonymous said the group took down the web hosting service GoDaddy, and in June the group UGNazi claimed responsibility for downing Twitter. Both outages were later revealed to be technical issues.

This is not the first time the banking giant has experienced site outages. Last year, the No. 2 U.S. bank experienced six days of problems with its website, which it blamed on heavy traffic and an upgrade of its systems. The site allows customers to check balances, transfer money and make payments.

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