Incident Response, TDR

Hacked Swedish military servers used in 2013 DDoS attacks

Swedish military servers were used by hackers to launch a series of 2013 DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks against U.S. financial institutions, according to a report by French news agency AFP.

The military servers were used to provoke troubling and sometimes crippling attacks against major financial institutions, including Citigroup, Capital One and HSBC, according to the report. Waves of attacks launched during the same period also targeted JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group, BB&T Corp., SunTrust Banks and Regions Financial Corp.

In the aftermath, a hacktivist group known as Martyr Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters took credit for the DDoS attacks, though U.S. officials said that Iran was responsible for them. The attacks against the financial institutions were retaliatory for U.S. sanctions and U.S. attacks against Iran, such as Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu, the officials, requesting anonymity, told media outlets at the time.

The French news agency spoke with a Swedish military spokesperson, who confirmed a report appearing in the Swedish newspaper DN. “We cannot be more specific about the new security measures we put in place, but such an attack could not happen again,” the representative said, according to the AFP report.

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