Travelex services forced offline by cyber attack

The currency exchange noticed the intrusion on 31 December, but the incident is ongoing

Foreign exchange firm Travelex has taken itself offline after discovering that a "software virus" had compromised its systems.

The incident, which is ongoing at the time of writing, began on New Year’s Eve 2019. The company said in a statement that while there’s no indication any customers’ personal data has been accessed, it took the decision to close down its systems “as a precautionary measure in order to protect data and prevent the spread of the virus”.

It added that its physical branches will continue trading, but foreign exchange services will be carried out manually.

The company has said it has deployed teams of IT specialists as well as external cyber security consultants to “isolate the virus and restore the affected systems”. This, however, is cold comfort for customers, some of whom claim to have been left with no access to money while abroad.

Recommendations to visit Mastercard’s Cash Passport service, which underwrites Travelex’s currency cards, seem to be fruitless as well.

The incident has implications beyond Travelex as well. HSBC and Virgin Money, which both use Travelex for their currency exchange services, are both displaying a notice saying their online services are unavailable due to “planned maintenance”.

Travelex planned maintenance message

Tesco Bank, meanwhile, simply says it can’t offer online foreign currency services and advises users to head into its branches.

The severity of the attack and whether a full data breach has occurred is currently unclear. However, a spokesperson for the UK's data regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) confirmed to IT Pro this morning that it had not received a report from Travelex.

IT Pro has contacted Travelex for further clarification, but hadn’t received a response at the time of publication

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security
cyber security

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security

3 Aug 2021
Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts
cyber security

Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts

27 Jul 2021
61% of organizations say improving security a top priority for 2021
cyber security

61% of organizations say improving security a top priority for 2021

29 Jun 2021
ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level
software as a service (SaaS)

ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level

9 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021