Scandinavian banks hit with DDoS attacks

The new year started poorly for Finnish bank OP Pohjola Group and its customers: the latter have been prevented from executing their online banking transactions by a DDoS attack that targeted the bank’s online services starting on the last day of 2014.

“OP’s services experienced some problems on New Year’s Eve due to data communications disruptions. The disruptions were caused by a denial-of-services attack. The attack flooded OP’s data communications systems and prevented customers’ banking. During the disruption, online services were not available and cash withdrawals could not be made from ATMs. There were also some difficulties in card payments,” the bank shared on the second day of the attack.

“The disruption was detected at about 16.30 on New Year’s Eve. The services started to function again at times and were completely restored and available to customers after midnight. Nevertheless, further disruptions are possible as the corrective measures are still ongoing and the security level of data traffic has been raised for the time being. Customers abroad may still have difficulties in logging in to OP’s online services.”

The attack is still ongoing, and OP’s services were not the only target. The Finnish division of the Nordea bank and the Danish Danske Bank have also experienced online service slow-down or disruption. While the latter is yet to comment on the matter, Nordea has confirmed they have been targeted by unknown DDoS attackers and have called in the police to investigate. The cause of the attack is still unknown, they said.

Nordea’s customers were still able to use the online banking service, but the service was slowed down. OP Pohjola Group’s customers, on the other hand, were unable to use the service altogether for many hours during the last six days, as the bank managed to restore it occasionally.

They, along with its service company Tieto, are cooperating with the authorities and investigating the attack.

In the meantime, the bank has set up a telephone service number that can be used by customers who cannot access their online services and have urgent banking business. They have also pledged to compensate customers for any fees they many have incurred and losses they may have suffered as a result of their inability to access the bank’s online services during the attack.

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