Cincinnati's Fifth Third Bank said it was targeted late last week by cyber attackers, believed to be based in the Middle East. The report was first published in the Cincinnati Business Courier.
The bank says its site was bombarded by clicks, which then slowed it down for legitimate customers. The site went down for about an hour Thursday, bank officials said.
However, Fifth Third says no customer accounts were compromised.
PNC Website Also Hit
Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank sent an email to customers Friday stating that its website was seeing a high volume of traffic that appears to be an attack from hackers.
This is the second major attack from foreign hackers, the first hitting a half dozen US banks in late fall. That one was traced to computers in Russia. PNC says other banks are affected, though it has not named any at this time.
The attackers have not been able to gain access to any accounts, according to PNC representatives. However, their constant barrage of the bank's website is slowing access for customers trying to do legitimate business.
PNC suggests customers who are locked out should try logging on again a few minutes later, or visit their local branch.
Full comment from PNC:
A number of banks in the U.S., including PNC, are seeing an unusually high volume of traffic at their Internet connections. This volume of traffic is consistent with threatened cyber attacks on the U.S. banking system and is designed to cause access delays for legitimate internet customers. For several weeks, PNC has taken steps to block this traffic and maintain online and mobile banking access for the vast majority of its customers. In some cases, those measures also may have blocked access to a small percentage of legitimate PNC customers for an extended period. We sincerely apologize to those affected.
For those having access issues, disruptions may be intermittent, so please try logging on again. You might also consider utilizing alternative banking methods, such as visiting your local branch, using a PNC ATM or calling 1-888-PNC-BANK (762-2265). Please know that even during an access disruption, any transfers or online bill payments already scheduled will continue to be processed.
If you still cannot access the site, you may contact us for assistance on Twitter @PNCBank_Help (no account information please), or by calling 1-888-PNC-BANK (762-2265). Please be aware that given the current situation, you may experience longer than usual wait times.
In the meantime, please be assured that PNC's website is protected by sophisticated encryption strategies that shield customer information and accounts. While this situation is an access issue and not an issue of account security, it is always important to remember to protect yourself by not sharing personal or financial information on any non-secure sites.