An anonymous reader writes: A DDoS attack targeting American Express on March 28th was just one in a series of incidents by self-proclaimed 'cyber-fighters' over the past few weeks. Beyond that, it's part of a much longer campaign to disrupt financial infrastructure using attacks over the internet. Ars details the group behind the most recent attacks, called 'the cyber-fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam.' From the article: 'Named after a Muslim cleric who led The Black Hand, an anti-British and anti-Zionist jihadist organization in the 1920s and 1930s, and sharing a name with the military wing of Hamas (which the group's statements claim it is tied to), Izz ad-Din al-Qassam has taken credit for a variety of attacks on US financial institutions over the past year, all allegedly in protest against the posting of trailers for the film The Innocence of Muslims on YouTube. Until the film is removed, the group said it would target "properties of American-Zionist CapitalistsThis attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie." [sic]' There are concerns that the group is providing cover for organizations looking to defraud those banks. 'But even if the group behind the attacks isn't profiting from them, Holden said it's clear that there are very real investments being made in their activities—maybe not in servers or hard assets, but in the form of countless hours of maintenance of the botnet by finding new servers to exploit, and further development of attacks. "Regardless of who's behind this," Holden said, "it has to be funded at some level. Even if it's hacktivists, it's got to be funded hacktivism." That, he says, is because of both the amount of time dedicated to the attack, and to its ongoing refinement. "It's not that these are the most sophisticated things in the world," he explained, "but it has been getting more sophisticated, and it's growing."'