Hacktivist Group to Temporarily Suspend Attacks on Banks

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At least one group of hacktivists is giving banks a breather.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters Group, which has claimed responsibility for recent cyberattacks on at least 10 banks, said Tuesday that it would halt further strikes over the next few days in honor of an upcoming Islamic religious holiday.

"Due to approaching Eid al-Adha and to commemorate this breezy and blessing day, we will stop our attack operations during the next days," the group wrote in a message posted on Pastebin, a website used by programmers.

The group, which said it would use the interlude to discuss its ideas with the news media, added that its digital assaults on banks aim only to disrupt service temporarily.

"We have already stressed that the attacks launch only to prevent banking services temporarily throughout the day & there is no stealing or handling of money in our agenda," the group said. "So if others have done such actions we don`t assume any responsibility for it."

The reprieve follows a series of attacks last week on Capital One (COF), BB&T (BBT) and HSBC (HBC) that slowed service on the companies' websites and prevented some customers from banking online. The onslaughts, which flooded lines that connect the banks to the Internet, mirrored attacks on Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), PNC (PNC), U.S. Bank (USB), SunTrust (STI) and Regions Financial (RF) that started in September.

The al-Qassam group says it has launched so-called denial-of-service attacks against the companies in retaliation for an American-made, anti-Islamic film. A trailer for the movie that appeared on YouTube set off demonstrations in September in Middle Eastern countries.

Anonymous, a hacker collective, has also claimed responsibility for the attack on HSBC.  The group said Friday that it stole information from about 20,000 debit cards during the operation, although HSBC has not commented on the group's claim.

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