ATHENS Nov 30 Hackers have staged cyber-attacks
on three Greek banks and demanded a ransom in bitcoins, a
virtual monetary unit, to stop their disruption, banking sources
said on Monday.
The sources said the hackers managed to block the Internet
banking activity of three Greek lenders for a few hours last
Thursday but did not penetrate the banks' security or obtain
confidential client data or access to accounts.
"All they achieved was to block the web banking for a few
hours. Nothing else," one banker told Reuters, speaking on
condition of anonymity. The sources said the hackers had given
the name of their group as Armada Collective.
The banks had refused to pay up and alerted the security
services and the Greek central bank, which are investigating.
"We informed the police and the country's secret services
are involved," a second banker said. "It's an easy to handle
situation. There is no need for bank clients to worry."
A hacking extortion group using the same name was reported
in mid-November to have staged sustained Distributed Denial of
Service attacks on several private email services.
The attacks work by overloading the websites until they are
forced to inhibit access or go offline.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by Paul Taylor;
Editing by Richard Balmforth)