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Cyber Threats to Bank Accounts on the Rise

finance.yahoo.com / By Rob Garver / Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 4:39pm EST

On the same day that news broke that 40 million customer account records were stolen from retail giant Target, the regulator of the nation’s largest financial institutions warned that customers’ financial information is increasingly under assault in their banks as well.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday, in its Semiannual Risk Perspective, warned that “Cyber-threats continue to increase in sophistication and frequency.” The agency noted, “Known impacts include … identity theft, fraud, and theft of intellectual property.”

Related: Data Breach May Impact 40M Target Customers

The report found that one new tactic employed by hackers is to target a bank’s home page with a so-called “denial of service” attack, in which thousands of hacked computers try to log on to the web site simultaneously, thereby disabling it for regular customers’ use. While security experts are distracted by the DOS attack, the report found, the hackers go after their real target by, for instance, draining customer accounts through fraudulent wire transfers.

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