The press tried to raise U.S. hysteria to OMG levels this week when reports of problems at two American banks\u2019 websites were linked to the deadly protests going on across the Middle East. Everyone\u2013meaning mostly my fellow journalists\u2013needs to calm the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] down. Even if this turns out to be true the hackers\u2019 greatest accomplishment will have been to cause some minor inconveniences.\n\tBank of America and JPMorganChase both experienced slowdowns on their online banking sites, which were supposedly caused by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This caused The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center to send out an advisory that raised the cyber-threat level to "high" from "elevated." The center is widely known as FS-ISAC but will be hereafter referred to as Fizzy Isaac. So, Fizzy Isaac cited \u201crecent credible intelligence regarding the potential" for cyber attacks as its reason for the move.\n\tJust as all this virtual feces hit the newswires a hacktivist group (or someone posing as one) claimed credit for the deeds. The \u201ccyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam\u201d posted a message on Pastebin claiming the attacks were meant to target \u201cproperties of American-Zionist capitalists.\u201d A planned attack on the New York Stock Exchange was also mentioned in the message, though no news has so far surfaced of any such attack.\n\tThe net result of this: Not much at all. I did some online banking on Bank of America's site yesterday and didn\u2019t notice a thing. Out of curiosity I went to Chase.com, and it also seemed just fine. Both banks apologized via Twitter for some slowdowns, so I will take them at their words that something did indeed happen.\n\tThe press did its best to turn this into something more than it was:\n\t\n\t\tCyberattack\u00a0warning prompted by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase website\n\t\n\t\tChase, NYSE Websites Targeted in\u00a0Cyber Attacks\n\t\n\t\tChase Bank Is Second to be Hit with\u00a0Cyber-Attack\u00a0In Response to \u201cSacrilegious yada yada\u201d\n\n\tFor some reason, perhaps it was the Romney video, the promise of a Lindsay Lohan\/Kim Kardashian alliterative cat fight or those pictures of Princess Her Majesty Kate walking around topless, Mr. and Ms. America didn\u2019t get very worked up about this. Good for them. It is a rare occasion when we pass on the chance at a hate-filled attack about how hate-filled someone else\u2019s religion is.\n\tA question for Fizzy Isaac: What is the point of raising the threat level? Here\u2019s the thing about IT security, it either works or it doesn\u2019t. There is no low-medium-high setting on these programs. With physical security you can actually change things if you think you are at greater risk, but not so here in cyberland. If a company\u2019s infosecurity is any good there is no online equivalent to putting more guards on duty. If there\u2019s something more an IT security team can do then it is already failing. There should be no more hatches to batten down.\n\tAnd, to my colleagues in the press, better luck with the next panic.