Travelex quarantines website, internal systems after New Year’s Eve cyber-attack
Travelex has taken its website offline following a cyber-attack which struck the firm on New Year’s Eve.
The currency exchange website, headquartered in London, first detected a problem on 31 December. It responded by shutting its systems down to prevent the virus from spreading. The website is still offline at the time of writing.
Travelex, which provides currency exchange services for consumers as well as banks like HSBC, Barclays, and Virgin Money, has told customers that it is “working around the clock” to fix the issues.
In a statement posted online, the bank writes: “Travelex confirms that a software virus was discovered on New Year’s Eve which has compromised some of its services.
“We have deployed teams of IT specialists and external cyber security experts who have been working continuously since New Years Eve to isolate the virus and restore affected systems.”
First Direct, Barclays, Sainsburys Bank and Virgin Money have all suspended their currency exchange and travel money services.
Customers have criticised Travelex online for its representation of the cyber attack and that the firm first described the downtime as “planned maintenance”. Travelex’s current holding page still calls the downtime planned.
Others have taken to social media to complain about being left in the lurch when it comes to their travel money. “I’ve been calling you every day for an update,” wrote one user, adding that they have been stuck in Canada “for four days”.
The news comes after Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers were all hit by account issues following system outages over the holiday period. Customers reported that their online banking services were affected by the downtime for several hours before a fix occurred.
Travelex claims to process around 5,000 currency transactions every hour, and has a presence in 70 countries worldwide. It operated 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs.
The firm has said that customers may still be able to access money changing services manually with its in-branch tellers.