The RBS banking group suffered a distributed denial of service attack on its online services. As a result, its customers were unable to log on for nearly one hour – just as monthly paychecks were arriving in accounts.
RBS accounts for 6.5m customers in NatWest, RBS and Ulster financial institutions and recently announced to be a victim of a deliberate surge in internet traffic, which floods its website with millions of requests. DDoS attack normally involves thousands of computers. The banking group explained that the attack on Friday lasted less than an hour and inconvenienced customers. However, it definitely did not compromise accounts or put customers at risk.
RBS also said that the identities of the hackers or their motives remained unknown. This is not the first time the company suffers a DDoS attack – similar attempt was made by the hackers late in 2013 over parts of a Thursday night and a Friday lunchtime.
The bank knew about the attack from Twitter, where angry customers were accusing the bank of another IT disaster. RBS notified all clients that the group was aware of the problem with online banking service and was trying to fix it as soon as possible. After lunchtime the problem was resolved and services were running normally. Only then the company confirmed that it suffered a DDoS attack.
Also the representatives of the banking group officially claimed that the attack lasted only 50 minutes, some customers complained they had problems accessing their accounts much longer. Overall, it is the 5th time in the last 3 years that the bank has had problems with its online banking service, and the 2nd in the last 6 weeks, when the bank left some customers stranded without cash over the weekend: it turned out that 600,000 wages and direct debit payments went missing overnight.