Tech Facts

Overload attack on Bank ID – caused major disruptions

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An overload attack on Bank-ID on Tuesday evening meant that the service was partially down or very slow for users. The attack and the disturbances were confirmed by Finansiell ID-Teknik to, among others, SVT Nyheter and TT.

  • The service was partly down during parts of the afternoon and evening
  • It is unclear who was behind the attack
  • Financial ID Technology took countermeasures to stop the attack
  • Users’ sensitive data is secure

The congestion attack, also known as a DDoS attack, resulted in the Bank ID not working correctly between 19.45 and 20.15, and between 21.45 and 22.10, on Tuesday 23 February. However, the attack did not cause any privacy-sensitive data to be leaked in any way.

Reading tips: Mobile BankID stops working with Android 5, iOS 10 & 11

This is an overload attack (DDoS attack)

An overload attack is also called “distributed denial-of-service”, or just short DDoS.

What happens during a congestion attack is that large amounts of Internet traffic are sent to a selected server (an IP address). This means that normal traffic does not arrive in the right way and in the worst case, the server that is exposed can crash due to the load.

To send such large amounts of traffic, computers and other Internet-connected gadgets are often used extensively as cybercriminal remote control via malicious code, also called malware.

The effectiveness of the congestion attack is determined, among other things, by how much traffic can be sent, what countermeasures the attacker puts in and for how long the attack lasts.

Overload attacks do not mean that Bank ID is insecure

An attack of this kind does not cause your sensitive data to be leaked on the internet to cybercriminals. You can safely use Bank ID for payments and for login just as before.

Press spokesperson Malin Wemnell at Finansiell ID-Teknik tells TT that technical countermeasures were taken and that they stopped the attack. She also says that there are routines and processes for dealing with attacks of this kind.

Malin Wemnell also says that users can feel secure in using Bank ID.

There are no indications as to why the congestion attack was performed against the Bank ID service. There are many reasons why this may have been done. For example, to test the infrastructure in the service, to investigate its own congestion capacity and to see how Bank-ID handles congestion attacks.

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