EU Banks, Internet Firms Test Ability to Withstand Cyber Attacks

European banks and Internet companies are testing their ability to withstand cyber attacks today following recent assaults on U.S. bank websites.

Internet service providers, telecommunications providers and government agencies will take part in the exercise to see how they’ll cope with more than 1,000 so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks, the European Commission said in a statement.

Cyber attacks last month on the biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., breached some of the country’s most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of their infrastructures, said cybersecurity specialists tracking them, according to a U.S. official who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The assault, which the official said was waged by a still-unidentified group outside the U.S., flooded bank websites with traffic, rendering them unavailable to consumers and disrupting transactions for hours at a time. The attacks escalated last week, directing 10 to 20 times more Internet traffic to the sites than the typical denial-of-service attack, said Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of Palo Alto, California-based security firm CrowdStrike Inc.

Initial results of the European simulation will be published within days by the EU’s network security agency, ENISA.

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