The Web page of banking institution Franklin Savings Bank was shut down for the second time in a week, inconveniencing its online customers, after malicious code embedded on its marketing site forced the bank to take it offline, a bank official said Wednesday.
The bank soon shut down the Web page last Friday after its security systems detected the malicious code.
When problems began to resurface on Wednesday, the bank shut down the page once again and vowed that it would stay offline until the company switched web hosting providers.
"The malicious code that hit our page last week appears to be widespread on the servers of the company that hosts our Web page," said Tim Thompson, a senior vice president for Franklin Savings Bank. "We again took down our Web page to block the threat from reaching our customers. We are in the process of changing Web hosting companies and will have our new page up and running as soon as possible."
Though Thompson would not identify the web host by name, he did say that the provider hosts hundreds of thousands of Web pages around the world.
The affected page is accessed with the URL addresses www.FranklineBranch.com, www.fsbme.com and www.WesternMountainFinancial.com.
The online brochure provided information about the bank, as well as a link to an online banking program, FranklineBranch.
These two pages, however, are located on different servers.
Thompson said the bank's marketing Web page is operated separately from the banking software, and therefore, is "not connected to customer information".
He added that the bank's financial computer system is monitored by an external security company on a 24-hour basis.
So far, the code's source is unknown, but according to Peter Fortunato, the bank's information systems administrator, it looks as though it is a random attack not is not specifically targeting financial companies.
The bank's marketing director, Anna Lyon, says the bank's Web page was promptly shutdown to protect customers because of the unknown.
The planted code directs users' computers to a China-based website where additional instructions could potentially be sent to the infected computer.
Online attacks continue to be a significant issue, particularly for financial websites.
The University of Michigan released a study last July that reveals that 75 percent of online banking sites contain a design flaw that make them susceptible to hackers, putting the critical information of customers at risk.
No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.
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