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NBI: OP bank attacks came from Finland and abroad

The National Bureau of Investigation says a denial of service attack against the OP-Pohjola financial group originated locally as well as abroad. The disruption effectively blocked users from the company's online services. Police say they are probing the attack as a case of IT disruption.

Tietokoneen näppäimistö.
Image: Miia Roivainen / Yle

The NBI probe follows a criminal complaint lodged by the OP-Pohjola Group in the wake of a denial of service attack that began on New Year’s Eve. NBI officers said they are looking into the matter from many different angles, but didn’t disclose much more.

”We are working on many fronts. Unfortunately I can’t provide further details because of the ongoing investigation,” said NBI Detective Chief Inspector Timo Piiroinen.

Investigators confirmed that the traffic that blocked legitimate users from accessing banking services came from Finland as well as abroad. In practice it is possible that the attackers used unauthorised access to other computers to increase the traffic going to OP-Pohjola sites.

”This attack came from many different directions. The perpetrators had commandeered netbots, so the incoming data traffic would not necessarily reveal anything about who was behind the attack,” Piiroinen said.

NBI said it is working to get to the bottom of the case with the OP-Pohjola Group as well as the cyber security unit of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority Ficora.

OP-Pohjola Group warns customers to brace for more online attacks

The OP financial group said Friday that while its domestic banking services such as card payments and other services are back up and running, customers doing business abroad may continue to experience service disruptions.

The OP-Pohjola Group described this week’s attack as extremely severe.

“From the perspective of customers in Finland card payments work, services work but there may be short disruptions in online traffic,” said OP-Pohjola Group communications chief Carine Geber Teir.

The group was the target of a denial of service attack, which began on New Year’s Eve. Denial of service attacks essentially make an online resource or service unavailable for its intended users. Later on Thursday evening OP tweeted that it continued to suffer disruptions as a result of the attacks.

The bank said that efforts are underway to strengthen security measures for its online services.

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