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January 23, 2017

Lloyds online banking hit by DDoS cyber attack

Lloyds services were disrupted over a two-day period, with customers unable to check balances or send payments.

By Ellie Burns

Some of the UK’s biggest banks have reportedly been attacked by an international cyber gang, with the digital services at Lloyds Banking Group being significantly disrupted by the cyber attack.

According to sources cited by the Financial Times, a DDoS cyber attack targeted UK banks two weeks ago, with many Lloyds and associated Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers temporarily unable to use services. Although customers suffered no financial loss, services were intermittently disrupted over a two day period, with customers unable to check balances or send payments. The hackers behind the attack are believed to have targeted other unspecified high-street lenders, although only Lloyds customers are believed to have been affected.

In a statement to IBTimes UK, a Lloyds spokesperson said: “We experienced intermittent service issues with internet banking between Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon the week before last and are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

“We had a normal service in place for the vast majority of this period and only a small number of customers experienced problems. In most cases if customers attempted another log in they were able to access their accounts. We will not speculate on the cause of these intermittent issues.”

This breach follows the high-profile November 2016 Tesco Bank cyber heist, which did see money stolen from customers. The hack forced Tesco Bank to repay £2.5m to 9,000 customers.

READ: Tesco Bank Hack: 20 key facts about Tesco Bank and its IT systems

In light of the most recent attack against UK banks, and following hot off the heels of the Tesco Bank hack, Darktrace’s Emily Orton has posed the question as to whether banks are doing enough to protect their assets.

“DDoS attacks are nothing new. But this one on Lloyds Bank follows hot on the heels of the Tesco Bank hack – and was seemingly active over two days. It begs the question: are financial institutions doing enough to defend their networks?

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“There’s no silver bullet for cyber security. But, whoever the attackers are, your best chance of stopping these threats is to identify them early. That means spotting malicious behaviours from the inside of the network. Machine learning will be critical to doing that job because humans can’t keep up with the sheer complexity of their organisations and the attacks.”

Attacks on financial institutions are nothing new, with attacks hitting high-profile brands before the much publicised Tesco Bank hack. In July 2015, Royal Bank of Scotland was hit by a cyber attack on its online services, while last year saw HSBC’s website and mobile app temporarily taken offline due to a DoS attack.

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