Bank of America website sees outage after Islamist hacker threats

A group calling itself the "Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam" posted its intentions on Pastebin, threatening take-downs of the Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange websites as icons of the “America-Zionist Capitalists” responsible for the amateur YouTube film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad.

The NYSE was not affected, but Bank of America was slowed. "We are working to ensure full availability," bank spokesperson Mark Pipitone told Reuters, declining to confirm that it was a denial-of-service attack. "I can tell you that we continuously take proactive measures to secure our systems."

The 14-minute “Innocence” video has sparked global outrage and deadly violence throughout the Middle East. Google recently blocked the video from YouTube in Egypt and Libya, where violent protests at American embassies have raised alarm and led to the death of Chris Stevens, the US ambasssador to Lybia. In India and Indonesia, Google has restricted the video to comply with local content laws. And it was pulled from Malaysia on Monday after authorities asked to have it blocked because of the "explosive commotions and repercussions at hand."

Meanwhile, Russian prosecutors, fearing violent protests, have asked the courts to ban it in that country. In Russia, home of 20 million Muslims, internet sites carrying banned content are subject to a law that places them on a special register, after which internet service providers would have one day to block access. And, the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh have blocked internet access to YouTube (not Google as a whole) in the wake of the video.

YouTube’s owner rejected a request by the White House to remove the video in the United States, on the basis of the First Amendment right to free speech.

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