Magazine : Archives : The Cybersecurity Issue

Prosecuting a Cyberattack

Five years ago, dozens of the nation’s biggest banks became targets of a sustained cyberattack on the financial infrastructure of the United States. The attacks began sporadically in December 2011, but then escalated—by September of the next year, they occurred on a near-weekly basis, frequently making it impossible for hundreds of thousands of customers to access their accounts online and forcing 46 financial institutions to spend tens of millions of dollars to keep their websites up and running. It soon became clear who was behind the so-called distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, which harnessed an extensive network of...