CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
With its announcement, the Charlotte-based bank helps increase pressure on the website that released thousands of secret US diplomatic cables. Though similar moves have prompted reprisals by hackers, Bank of America’s site is as well protected as they come, security analysts say.
Bank of America released a statement yesterday saying it will no longer process any transactions that it believes are intended for WikiLeaks.
“This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments,’’ the bank said. The move was first reported by The Charlotte Observer.
Earlier this month, Internet “hacktivists’’ operating under the label Operation Payback claimed responsibility in a Twitter message for causing severe technological problems at the
Bank of America’s website offers access to customer accounts through its home page, but it could be a tough nut for hackers to crack, security analysts say.
No financial institution can “fully keep the bad guys out,’’ said Rich Mogull, an analyst and CEO with the security research firm Securosis. But he added that customers shouldn’t worry about Wikileaks supporters plundering their accounts, namely because the company has plenty of practice in warding off hackers.
“Bank of America, I can guarantee you, is one of the top targets in the world,’’ he said.
The bank’s move comes as WikiLeaks says it is preparing a release of information on banks, which could include documents it says it has on Bank of America.
WikiLeaks responded to Bank of America’s announcement with a Twitter message urging supporters to stop doing business with the bank.
Wikileaks has received increasing global attention for its leaks of sensitive government data as 2010 has gone on. In recent weeks, it has released parts of a cache of more than 250,000 secret US State Department diplomatic cables.