How Safe is Your Money?
The Security people feel by keeping their money in the banking system has taken some major hits this week. Just hours after the European Union decided it would seize bank accounts in Cyprus, to bail out the banks, Chase Customers in America went online to find their bank accounts had been completely drained of funds.
According to Chase, the bank experienced internal technical difficulties that made it seem like customers accounts had been wiped out. Millions of worried customers took to the internet to find out why their account balance showed $0.
Although Chase originally claimed the “technical difficulties” only affected its internet balance system, a number of people (via Twitter) were reporting the entire chase system was down. Chase later back pedaled and confirmed they were having transaction issues when they tweeted:
*ALERT* We’re looking into reported trans. issues & working to correct an internal issue to show customer balances. We’ll keep you updated.
— Chase Support (@ChaseSupport) March 19, 2013
Was Chase Hacked Again?
While Chase is denying it was hacked, the hacking group “Anonymous” is claiming responsibility for the vanishing balances on Twitter. If this is true, it definitely takes things to a whole new level and is not good for an industry that is increasingly being seen as untrustworthy.
Chase is Denying reports,and put out the following statement last night:
“We have a technology problem regarding customers’ balance information” … “It has nothing to do with cyber threats. It is an internal issue. We are very sorry to our customers for the inconvenience. This began earlier this evening. It is not confined to the West Coast.”
Just a couple of weeks ago Chase was hit by a massive distributed-denial-of-service attack that caused the website to go down for a number of hours. Customers who were trying to conduct online banking transactions were greeted with a message telling them that the site was temporarily unavailable.
Accounts have since been updated and the original balances have been restored, but this is not sitting well with customers who for a couple of hours yesterday lost every penny in their accounts. It really makes you wonder how safe your money is once it’s been turned into a bunch of digital numbers on a server.
How Safe and Secure is our Money?
A couple of months ago we talked to Damon Petraglia, a cyber-terrorism and cyber-crime expert, about the threat of Cyber-Terrorism and how it could affect the financial industry. He told us:
The United States is a global economic super-power with strong value to its dollar. We are the biggest financial target on the planet. It has been claimed that other countries including China have already breached or otherwise infiltrated every major US-based corporation… These are not your typical hackers, these are highly trained, highly skilled, highly protected intelligence and military units.
He went on to warn people that they need to be prepared for this coming threat. He told our readers, “preparing for an actual worst case scenario is similar to the preparations one would make for extended period without adequate food and water supplies and access to emergency services.”
The threat is very real, and Petraglia isn’t the only cyber expert sounding alarm bells. In fact, Cyber Security expert Eugene Kaspersky, who co-founded of the Kaspersky Lab, has been warning people that we are heading towards a cyber threat that in his words — could spell “the end of the world as we know it”.
Are You Prepared to Face the Threat?
I hate to keep repeating myself, but these banking debacles are yet another example of why we need to be prepared, and why you always need to have some emergency cash on hand. We are heading into some very troubling times, and people need to realize their money may not be as safe as their telling us.
Whether it’s hackers targeting your hard-earned money, or governments seizing it to bail out the banks, you need to be prepared to financially deal with every one of these economic threats. Your future depends on it!