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Security Upgrade Causes Downtime at Commonwealth Bank of Australia

ATMs and Point of Sales Transactions Affected

1 min read
Security Upgrade Causes Downtime at Commonwealth Bank of Australia

There are news reports coming out of Australia stating that customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) are having trouble with their ATM and EFTPOS transactions today. According to this story in the Sydney Morning Herald, a critical security upgrade that CBA made over the weekend resulted in "banking chaos today."

The Herald story quoted a CBA spokesperson as saying:

"Merchants using CBA terminals have intermittently had valid MasterCard, Visa or other scheme debit card transactions declined at the point of sale.... There has also been some intermittent issues with our ATM network which has resulted in some machines place limits on cash withdrawals."

This story appearing in ITNews for Australian Business said that the CBA claimed everything would be working again by 1700 local time.

ITNews also says in its story that a CBA spokesperson would not say how many customers were affected, nor what the security change was that caused the problem, citing "security concerns."

However, the ITNews then pointed out that CBA itself had sent out a press release this the morning outlining new security changes it had implemented.
 
Oops.

A CBA spokesperson also implied that other financial networks other than its own were affected, but a check by ITNews couldn't find any other banks affected.

So much for trying to disguise your difficulties.

Commonwealth Bank, per usual, apologized for the "for the inconvenience this essential maintenance may have caused some customers," IT News said.

A few weeks ago, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) warned anyone who used a credit or debit card (except the AAFES Military Star cards) between the 7th and 9th of August at any of its locations world wide to check their card statements for billing anomalies. The problem also was a result of a computer security upgrade.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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