News reports like this one in ITNews for Australian Business say that a server patch on Monday evening severely degraded the online banking service of Australia's Westpac bank for about 9 hours yesterday.

The patch, ITNews reports, caused the online bank web page to load too slowly for about 75% of Westpac retail customers from 0730 to 1630 local time. Back up processes kept the problem from affecting business customers and 25% of its retail customers.

Westpac is one of Australia's biggest banks, and its problem follows right on the heels of the system outage problem at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia that was caused by a security upgrade.

In related news, last Friday afternoon beginning at 1325 EDST, Bank of America, the largest bank in the US, also suffered an online banking outage that lasted approximately 4 hours. However, BoA has yet to say what happened other than calling it a "temporary system" issue.


 

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
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Carl De Torres
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When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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