In early September of 2012, short videos claiming to be “trailers” of a longer film entitled “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded to YouTube.
The film, which claimed to contain offending content to the Muslim community, has invoked demonstrations and violent protests in many Muslim countries which included an attack on U.S consulates and embassies.
On September 18th , 2012 a group called “Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam” announced an upcoming cyber attack campaign and called for an attack on what they claimed to be ‘American and Zionist’ targets. The attack campaign was named “Operation Ababil” which was also the name of a failed Pakistani military operation that occurred in April, 1984.
As mentioned in the public announcements by the `Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam’, the attack was split into two major stages. The first stage of the attacks targeted Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange, while the second stage of the attack targeted J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
The entire attack campaign began on September 18th, 2012 and lasted for four days in which all the proclaimed targets were attacked.
On December 29th, 2012, another attack was launched against BOA and Citi Group. This attack was launched from compromised computers that were hosted on big hosting service servers.
The attack caused high outbound for web hosting companies. Recently, we received additional information from one of our clients naming two IPs belonging to a web hosting company sending malicious traffic. They also suggested that the attack was done by the malware ‘brobot’ which provided URLs that turned out to be HTTPS.
On January 9th, 2013, U.S. officials blamed Iran as the one standing behind this attack.