Banks in Six Countries are Suffering IT Outages, Leaving Customers without Access to their Funds

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The IT systems of banks in six countries, New Zealand, UK, Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico, have experienced outages causing problems for tens of millions of people who rely on digital banking. New Zealand most recently experienced DDOS attacks. In a DDoS attack, hackers overwhelm a site by getting huge numbers of bots to connect to it all at once, rendering it inaccessible. Servers are not breached, data is not stolen but it can cause disruption and delays. In September, Mexico’s largest bank, BBVA Mexico, had a failure that left 24-million account holders unable to use ATMs, mobile apps or in-store payments for 20 hours . Other Mexican banks have also had internal problems with computer systems. In July, websites of Lloyds, HSBC, TESCO Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Barclays were brought down by a global Internet outage allegedly caused by a botched software update at hosting service Akamai. This article contains more examples of digital technology that has broken down in banks. -GEG

Twenty banks (some suffering repeated outages), six countries (one in lockdown), five continents, tens of millions of unhappy customers.

There’s never a good time for your bank’s IT system to go down. But few can be worse than in the middle of a lockdown. It’s difficult to leave home, your local branch may not be open, and as a result you are more reliant than ever on digital banking services. In New Zealand, now in its seventh week of nationwide lockdown, one of the country’s largest lenders, Kiwibank, went down on Tuesday, leaving many of its customers in the lurch. It is one of a string of IT outages the bank has suffered over the past three weeks, after a DDoS attack on New Zealand’s third largest Internet provider caused IT crashes at a number of lenders, including Commonwealth Bank and Anz Bank.

In a DDoS attack, hackers overwhelm a site by getting huge numbers of bots to connect to it all at once, rendering it inaccessible. Servers are not breached, data is not stolen but it can still cause plenty of disruption.

24 Million Unhappy Customers

New Zealand is not the only country to have suffered major outages within its banking system in recent weeks. Other countries include the UK, Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico, though there are no doubt more (if you know of any, It would be great if you could provide details in the comments section).

On September 12, operating failures at Mexico’s largest bank, BBVA Mexico, left 24 million account holders unable to use the bank’s 13,000 ATMs, its mobile app or in-store payments for almost 20 hours. It being a Sunday, customers could not even avail of the lender’s in-branch cash services. The bank blamed the outage on a system update failure and has offered to compensate customers with cash bonuses on purchases when using their credit or debit cards. The bank was also at pains to assure them that their financial data was not compromised.

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Tom Ball
Tom Ball
10 months ago

I don’t believe that the people who manufactured all these computerized devices and planted back doors on them like the Israeli Pegasus software could not prevent these kinds of incidents, which causes me to consider whether they are the ones behind it. I don’t know how much evidence it would take to convince everyone that these people are bent on nothing less than absolute global domination. That they have many crooks working for them from outside their tribal sphere who also stand to benefit from these developments should come as no surprise. Those who believe that no one but “white… Read more »

Fastt Ed
Fastt Ed
10 months ago

Coin of the realm is still king.