TD Canada Trust’s online banking site and mobile banking service went off line for several hours today due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which is similar to the cyber attack suffered by media networks and financial firms in South Korea yesterday.
The service disruption was experienced around 10 a.m. by TD clients attempting to access their online accounts. As late as 3:30 pm today, some customers could still not log into their accounts.
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Barbara Timmins, a spokesperson for the bank, said personal information and accounts have not been compromised. She said the branch banking, telephone banking and automated teller machine banking have not been affected.
Timmins said that most of the services were up and running by late Thursday afternoon.
"We continue to monitor the situation closely and respond if necessary," she said. "These types of attacks targeting large financial institutions are unfortunately common."
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“This is very similar to the DDoS attack experienced by banks in South Korea,” according to Claudiu Popa, corporate risk advisor and president of Toronto-based information security consulting firm Informatica Corp., who tweeted about the disruption he experienced first hand as he attempted to access his online account today.
He said, it appears that attackers had targeted TD’s backend servers but have left the bank’s client-facing web site untouched.
“If you want to cause massive disruption but not steal any data, this is a smart move,” he said. “The site is still up but no transactions can take place because no one is able to log in.”
On Wednesday , the computer networks of three media broadcast stations, an Internet Service Provider and two banks were incapacitated by a DDoS attack. Files and company data were not breached, but the networks of the target organizations were paralyzed.
DDoS attacks are used to target and compromise multiple computer system or networks and are commonly infected with a Trojan virus. This is different than a denial of service (DoS) attacks in the sense that these attacks are only targets at a single platform.