Boston, MA 03/05/2013 (wallstreetpr) – At the behest of the U.S government, shareholders of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) have been warned about possible cyber attacks. All government agencies and banks have been instructed to raise the red flag. Mobile and online banking have given attackers an easy avenue to infiltrate and disrupt operations said both the New York-based companies in their annual regulatory filings. Assaults similar to the ones that had created havoc in the country’s largest lenders towards the end of last year could affect them as well and they said that tactics such as overloading websites to shut off public access are used by intruders.
President Barack Obama has been urging the Congress to set up formal rules that will direct the government to have companies set up voluntary security standards. The speculation in U.S banks is that terrorist, organized crime cartels or rival foreign nations may be attempting these cyber attacks and that security costs to keep these intruders at bay may see an increase. The cyber intrusion-related costs are predicted to see a 30 percent rise this year and more disclosures are expected. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) and SunTrust Banks, Inc (NYSE:STI) had been victims of cyber attacks last December.
Banks alone not preferred targets
Its not just financial institutions that have been targeted and need to be on guard. A small number of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) computers had also been infected by malware in Feb last year and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) had also been affected. The security of the U.S. Federal Reserve website had been breached, news organizations such as the The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) had been attacked by Chinese hackers and there had been an onslaught of purported denial-of-service attacks that caused a disruption in the largest U.S payment networks and banks.
The main tactic that is used is to flood a website which eventually leads it to being disabled. Though this in no way gives the attackers access to any personal cash or information the regulators have warned that these may merely be diversion tactics that are aimed at distracting staff while accounts are being penetrated. It is a known fact that identity-theft and private email infiltration is the objective of hackers and that corporate secrets can also be stolen by foreign companies and countries said Obama. Power grid sabotage attempts, air-traffic control and financial institution attacks cannot be ruled out either, he added. The techniques that these attackers use change all the time and cannot always be warded-off.
Hackers tactics changing
The second largest payments processor in the U.S, MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) in its annual filing said that threats such as these are very commonplace and adding more internet and mobile options only makes organizations more vulnerable to attack. In its annual filings Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Americas biggest home lender said that these current cyber attacks may just be a test-run and more heinous cyber crimes may be in the offing. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) had also reported denial-of-service attacks and said that customers had been complaining of website slowdowns and knockouts. The implications are frightening especially since in the next decade, computers are expected to be able to work a hundred thousand times faster and calculating will get a great deal quicker. Urgent legislation is the need of the moment to mitigate these cyber attacks.
Shares of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc (NYSE:GS) went up by 1.10% to close at $152.18
Shares of Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) went up by 1.97% to close at $42.94
Shares of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) went up by 0.62% to close at $11.41
Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) went up by 0.39% to close at $49.10
Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) went up by 1.30% to close at $35.85
Shares of SunTrust Banks, Inc (NYSE:STI) went up by 1.71% to close at $28.02
Shares of The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) went up by 0.73% to close at $9.64
Shares of MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) went up by 0.60% to close at $521.41
Shares of HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) went down by 2.35% to close at $710.97
Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY) went down by 0.24% to close at $63.62
Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) went up by 0.72% to close at $28.15
Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) went down by 0.225 to close at $27.72
Shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) were down by 2.42% to close at $420.05