Bank of America services totally crap out; hack not suspected

Some of Bank of America's 40 million customers "were unable to access their online banking accounts, mobile payment systems or the company’s telephone call centers on Friday," reports the NYT. An internal breakdown, rather than a hacking attack, is suspected, but the bank continues to investigate.


Since last fall, U.S. bank websites have faced a blitz of "denial of service" attacks in which hacker activists disrupt operations by flooding them with information. Customers logging into Bank of America's website on Friday received a message that said the site was "temporarily unavailable." Some customers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
Only, ahahahha, Twitter was all busted, too.


  1. I can verify that point-of-sale systems had trouble transacting against BofA debit cards today. This is much more widespread than a simple “online banking outage”

    1. Their telephone banking systems were down too, which means that their customer-facing systems outside their dedicated, secured network were down. I’m not BoA, but I know something of standard practices, and telephone banking and “mobile banking” (Internet-facing services) typically sit in a DMZ with safeguards and sanity checks; if the safeguards and sanity checks fail, they’re often to fail with deadman mode, to wit: transactions roll back, and if enough of them do, then entire systems go down by design, so attacks can be analysed and systems won’t be available for attackers to feel out.

      Sometimes, though, people design their intrusion detection systems to be very complex, and with complexity comes emergent phenomena – and sometimes, a fiber cable bundle gets cut and you don’t yet have a working failover because of newly announced regulatory policy.

      Point being, there’s a lot of things it /could/ be, and the data’s too thin to make a narrow list.

  2. It might be just plain old incompetence and not a sinister hack.  A bank up here in Canada went down for 3 days because they’d outsourced all of their coding and when something broke there was no one on this continent who had the faintest idea how anything worked or even how to figure out which sub-system was gummed up.

    1.  Incompetence with BOA? NO WAY.

      Actually the new media story I heard today was that they deployed a major ‘upgrade’ of their IT systems…which of course immediately crashed.

  3. I can verify that it seems to be working fine for me. I logged onto my account using my iphone about a half hour / forty five minutes ago, and just this very moment before coming here I activated a new CC using their website. So whatever it was, it wasn’t still happening then, or if it was, it wasn’t affecting all customers.

  4. BofA’s services totally crapped out many years ago, which is why I closed down my account with them.

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