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Saturday, February 2, 2013 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.

Outages hit Bank of America electronic, phone banking

By E. Scott Reckard
Los Angeles Times

Bank of America customers were unable to access its electronic-banking operations and telephone-call centers Friday.

“We’re addressing the issue as quickly as possible,” said Mark Pipitone, a technology and operations spokesman at the bank. “We’re also working closely with our customers to help them alleviate any concerns.”

Customers who tried to sign on to Bank of America online and mobile services on Friday were greeted with a text message advising them to go to ATMs or branches.

“Our site is temporarily unavailable,” it said. “We know your banking is important and appreciate your patience.”

Angry Bank of America customers took to Twitter to say that they were left frustrated, trying to do their banking on the first day of the month.

The lender noted on its Facebook page that its ATMs were running and that its credit and debit cards were also working.

The bank responded on Facebook, telling customers that it was working to resolve system issues affecting direct deposits, such as payroll and Social Security checks, online banking and phone-banking access.

The lender announced a few hours later that the problems had been resolved.

Spokesman Thaddeus Herrick did not elaborate on what might have caused the problems.

It wasn’t known if it was related to cyber attacks by a shadowy hacker group in the Middle East last September that disrupted the electronic operations at the nation’s largest banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial Services.

Those were simple denial-of-service attacks, in which a website is deluged by automated requests for service until it breaks down.

But at least one other recent case involved hackers breaching bank-security systems and making off with customers’ funds.

Material from The Associated Press

is included in this report.


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