Simon’s Backup Weblog


Rogue Banks and the (near) end of everything…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on October 23, 2005

A fascinating piece on The Register by Charles Arthur on “phantom withdrawals“, rogue IT departments, and a narrow escape for the UK economy…

This is the story of how the UK banking system could have collapsed in the early 1990s, but for the forbearance of a junior barrister who also happened to be an expert in computer law – and who discovered that at that time the computing department of one of the banks issuing ATM cards had “gone rogue”, cracking PINs and taking money from customers’ accounts with abandon.

It’s surprising how many people I know had some form of phantom withdrawal on their accounts, but were frightened off by banks telling that they would be accused of fraud if they claimed the money back. After all, the ATM system was secure. They’d told us it was, and that should have been good enough for us.

Well, now we know the truth.

It was wide open. And people were running through its holes with impunity.

A must read for anyone interested in IT security and electronic civil liberties.

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One Response to 'Rogue Banks and the (near) end of everything…'

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  1. pigeonhed said,

    err.. I read Rogue Banks and wondered ‘What’s Iain done now?’


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