Entries in Capital One (2)


Capital One Website Disrupted, Cyber Protesters Claim Attack

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The website for Capital One was inaccessible for online banking customers for hours overnight -- possibly the latest salvo in a long-running cyber protest targeting major Western financial institutions over an anti-Islam movie.

Though some customers had reported problems accessing the site over the past 48 hours, Capital One’s technical support told ABC News the site went down Wednesday night.  As of this report, the website appears to be back up and running.

Wednesday morning, a group of online protesters calling themselves the al-Qassam Cyber Fighters announced on a blog that Capital One was among their latest victims in a months-long campaign of cyber attacks meant to disrupt the websites of major banks like PNC, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.  

The group is believed to use a relatively unsophisticated tactic called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which basically flood the target website with so much traffic that it temporarily crashes. Such attacks do not actually breach the target’s network security and, in the case of online banking, cannot pilfer any personal or account information.

Al-Qassam also recently announced that a smaller bank, Huntington, had been added to its list of targets.  Huntington’s website was temporarily disabled Thursday morning but also appears to have recovered.

A self-described spokesperson for the al-Qassam Cyber Fighters told ABC News in November that the point of the cyber campaign is to make the U.S. government force YouTube to take down the Innocence of Muslims movie and trailer -- a super low-budget, privately-made film that portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and pedophile.  The same movie sparked real-world protests in more than a dozen countries in September.

U.S. officials, including former Homeland Security Chairman Sen. Joseph Leiberman (I-Conn.), have said they believe Iran is behind the cyber attacks.  Both al-Qassam and Iran denied that allegation.

Representatives for both Capital One and Huntington did not immediately return requests for comment for this report.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Customer Claims Credit Bureau Gave ID Thief His Most Sensitive Data

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NORTHBROOK, Ill.) -- A Northbrook, Ill., man claims he hired credit bureau and identity-protection outfit Equifax to protect him against a thief who had racked up fraudulent charges on his Capital One credit card. Equifax, he claims, then turned around and inadvertently sent all his most private credit and financial data to that same thief.

Brian Bruce says in his complaint that in early April he discovered he had been the victim of identity theft: A criminal in New York, he says, had used his identity to make some $23,000 worth of unauthorized charges on his Capital One credit card.

That same day, says Bruce, he contacted Equifax to inform them he had become a victim of identity theft and to ask them to put a fraud alert on his account. The next day, he asked Equifax to put a security freeze on his account. When Equifax responded, says Bruce, he was dismayed to see that the document confirming the freeze had transposed Bruce's Illinois address with the New York address of the thief.

While Bruce was attempting to straighten out that problem, Equifax suggested he might want to sign up for the additional protection afforded by its Equifax Complete Premier Plan for $19.95 a month. By so doing, he would gain what Equifax described as "comprehensive credit monitoring and identity protection." Bruce signed up.

On April 9, still trying to resolve the mix-up of his own address with the thief's, he contacted Equifax and was told that in order to do this he would need to submit copies of his W-2 tax forms, utility bills, and other documents bearing his Illinois address. This Bruce did.

Shortly afterwards, says the complaint, Equifax "mailed a copy of plaintiff's complete credit report containing his full social security number, full birth date and information about all of his credit accounts to the identity thief's address."

The suit further alleges that when Bruce complained to Equifax about its conduct, "Equifax attempted to blame the mistake on [the] plaintiff."

Bruce is suing for, among other things, "fear and emotional distress," since he now fears the thief will attempt further fraudulent activity, armed with the additional information provided by the protection company.

Equifax told ABC News it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Equifax is one of three U.S. credit bureaus, all of which offer identify theft protection services for a monthly fee. Consumers, however, are entitled by law to a free copy of their credit reports once a year from each of the three bureaus.  You can also request a freeze on your credit report from each of the agencies for free, which means that no new credit can be opened in your name without your prior permission.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio