Estonia’s second-biggest bank, Swedish-owned SEB Eesti Uhispank, was forced on Tuesday to block access from abroad to its online banking service after it came under “massive cyber-attack”, an official said.
"Massive attacks were launched at noon against our Internet bank, blocking access to our website," Silver Vohu, head of communications at the bank, told AFP.
"Access was restored at 2:00 pm (1100 GMT), but only for users in Estonia. Access from computers located outside Estonia will continue to be restricted for security reasons," he said.
The cyber attacks were the first to target the bank group since a series of similar assaults were launched at the end of last month against the websites of Estonian state institutions, said Vohu.
Estonian officials have said some of the cyber-attacks that forced Estonian government websites to shut down temporarily came from computers in the administration of neighbouring Russia, including in the office of President Vladimir Putin.
The cyber-attacks were launched after the Estonian authorities moved a monument to Soviet soldiers who fought fascism in World War II, from the city block where it stood in central Tallinn to a military cemetery in a quiet neighbourhood of the capital.
The removal of the monument drew the ire of Moscow and triggered riots in Tallinn by members of the large ethnic Russian minority that makes up around one-quarter of the Baltic republic’s population of 1.34 million.
Vohu said the attacks on SEB bank’s Internet banking service had "tried to overload the website with various requests so that normal access would fail."
The security of customer accounts was not compromised in the attacks, he said.