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.
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.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.