Iranian Terrorists May Be U.S. Banks' Best PR: Street Whispers
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nothing unites like a common enemy--a premise that may give solace to "Too Big To Fail" U.S. banks that, according to U.S. security officials cited in The New York Times Wednesday, are victims of cyber-attacks carried out by the Iranian government.
In just the last four months, Iran carried out cyber-attacks on Bank of America(BAC) , Citigroup(C) ,Wells Fargo(WFC) , U.S. Bancorp(USB) , PNC Financial(PNC) , Capital One Financial(COF) , Fifth Third Bank(FITB) , BB&T(BBT) and HSBC(HBC) , the report states, noting that the U.S. officials, who aren't identified, "have not offered any technical evidence to back up their claims." The attackers have used data networks or "clouds," of the type run by Amazon(AMZN) and Google(GOOG) as well as a host of smaller companies, the report states.
This explains why Sullivan & Cromwell senior chairman Rodgin Cohen, one of the top bank M&A attorneys in the U.S., was uncharacteristically talking about cyber-security in an interview with Bloomberg News this week.
Cohen happened to be in the midst of an interview at Bloomberg's studios at the same time President Obama was announcing his nominations of Chuck Hagel and John Brennan for Defense Secretary and CIA director. The super-lawyer was asked, merely as an aside, if these nominations have anything to do with the banking industry.
"They actually do," Cohen responded. "I was delighted that the president singled out--I think first--cyber-security, because we've already seen the invasions of the banks a few months ago and this is a very serious issue for the country but particularly for the banking industry."
Since the 2008 subprime crisis, Cohen has devoted many of his public statements to defending the big banks--not from Iranian cyber-terrorists, but from American citizens, politicians, and an increasing number of regulators and even industry officials who think they should be broken up.