back to article UK.gov demands urgent answers as TSB IT meltdown continues

The government is demanding urgent answers over a botched systems upgrade at TSB that has locked out up to 1.9 million customers. The IT meltdown happened after a planned upgrade between 4pm on Friday 20 April and 6pm on Sunday 22 April as TSB migrated from former parent Lloyds Banking Group's systems to shiny new ones. TSB …

Anonymous Coward

Whose idea was this?

No doubt the deadline was forced onto TSB by the government who now deny responsibility.

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Re: Whose idea was this?

Maybe they needed changes in place for GDPR (only a month to go) compliance?

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Re: Whose idea was this?

Or they want to do the change shortly after the end of the UK tax year.

Maybe all three reasons?

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Re: Whose idea was this?

It's nothing to do with the government. It's so that TSB's parent company can stop paying Lloyds Banking Group millions of pounds each year for access to their IT systems.

The switch is to Banco Sabadell's systems (i.e. those of TSB's parent).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No doubt the deadline was forced onto TSB by the government

No need for a conspiracy when incompetence will do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whose idea was this?

Maybe someone unplugged the wrong server.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whose idea was this?

Lloyds are transitioning their systems into IBM cloud. Maybe they gave TSB a very hard deadline to get out?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whose idea was this?

IBM cloud. Oh no.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whose idea was this?

"Maybe they needed changes in place for GDPR (only a month to go) compliance?!"

"Maybe they needed changes in place for GDPR (only a month to go) compliance, so that the fines will not be quite so bad so they balls it up and expose customer details to random other customers."

TFTFY

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Re: No doubt the deadline was forced onto TSB by the government

No need for a conspiracy when incompetence will do.

Yup, sounds like there was a bit of a hole somewhere in their change management, unit testing, integration testing, UAT, scale testing, and dry-run that they definitely must have done because of due diligence.

What do you mean, they just pressed the 'Go' button and crossed their fingers?

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Re: Whose idea was this?

And these systems are now run from Barcelona! It should have been a straight forward migration. Obviously wasn’t, why didn’t TSB tell customers about Data Centre move? Frightened of backlash? I think so!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whose idea was this?

Banks are always so transparent about where their data centers are and what they are doing with them, I find.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Backout?

Wonder if TSB are unable to backout their change in order to revert to the old Lloyds platform, or maybe the latest maintenance outage is to do just that?

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Joke

TSB

Totally Shagged Back-end.....

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Joke

Re: TSB

Total Server Bullocking...

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Re: TSB

Totally Shit Bank....

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Re: TSB

Time (to) Switch Banks

- happy member of Starling Bank

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"We are currently experiencing large volumes of customers accessing our mobile app and internet banking which is leading to some intermittent issues with people accessing our services."

But isn't that what your mobile app and internet banking is for? Or are you still expecting customers to call into the branches that you've shut?

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, you’ve clearly not visited a branch then - their front end systems aren’t working either, but they’re doing a good job of hiding that. Basically deferring keying of transactions by the looks of it. It may be better today.

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Who Me?

Can we expect a Who Me? article about this? Hopefully the people at fault read the reg and can contribute a good story!

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Anonymous Coward

Damage Control

Time for TSB to issue the usual statement "Lessons have been learnt, we have fired the poor peon in India who was entirely and solely responsible for this cockup, all affected customers will receive a free year of credit check courtesy of TSB Credit Checks (after this period, you will be charged £40 a month)... "

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Re: Damage Control

In this case the poor peon in Lima, Peru.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Damage Control

They outsourced it to Paddington Bear's Aunt Lucy?!

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I wonder....

... how will they detect all the fraud they're exposing themselves too? We've already seen in the media stories of people able to access £XX,XXX in other peoples accounts. What are the odds some dishonest scrote hasn't moved some of that "free money" to their own accounts? What are the odds other scrotes won't view their legitimate out going transactions and respond "Wasn't me guv".

And that's to say nothing of those simply writing down names, account numbers, balances, standing orders, and direct debit info for whatever accounts they see, knowing they can phone up later and hack into the account then.

Buggering up your outsourced IT is par for the course - you choose to do that when you choose to offshore - but displaying other peoples private information wen you do so is inexcusable.

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Re: I wonder....

'What are the odds some dishonest scrote hasn't moved some of that "free money" to their own accounts?

Pretty slim probably as, if true, this access clusterf@@k means they have no guarantee the funds will end up where directed...

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Re: I wonder....

Pretty slim probably as, if true, this access clusterf@@k means they have no guarantee the funds will end up where directed...

They'd probably short cut that and transfer the money to an online account with another provider or bitcoin account. Relying on your screwup to be so bad that it saves you from fraud because literally nobody can do anything seems counterproductive and unlikely to engender goodwill amongst customers.

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Re: I wonder....

Easy to detect fraud. They record details of all transactions and the time and date of when it was performed.

All they have to do is sit back and wait for people to complain money has been stolen from their account. Then when the complaints roll in, investigate those complaints relating to transactions which occurred during the time window of the change.

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Re: I wonder....

Assuming that they can tell that Account A's funds were transferred by someone logging in on Account B.

If they can do that, then why were Account A's details shown in real time?

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Re: I wonder....

Except the money has been wired out of the country, cash withdrawn, and the account closed. Fraud is easy to detect. Getting the money back, isn't.

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Re: I wonder....

I suspect Russia and North Korea will be taking a great deal of interest in the TSB infrastructure and other UK banks that have outsourced their IT/Ownership/Responsibility/Security (tick all that apply) based on this evidence.

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FAIL

TITSUP

TSB IT Service Unavailability Problem

TSB IT Serviceable Usury Postponed

TSB IT Silly Useless Plonkers

TSB IT Switch to Unrelated Provider

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Re: TITSUP

Total Inability To Send Users Pennies

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[Nicky Morgan] said the reports of unauthorised transactions, access to other customers' accounts, and failures of in-branch services "have all the hallmarks of an IT meltdown".

Is "IT meltdown" an officially designated term now? How is it quantified?

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Anonymous Coward

needs to become an official el-reg measure

1 TITSUP

2 FOOBAR

3 BORKED

4 MELTDOWN

for starters...

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Black Helicopters

Is "IT meltdown" an officially designated term now? How is it quantified?

Meltdown now has quite a specific meaning for IT security; hopefully politicians and the "mainstream" media* will stop using it in this sense.

*By mainstream media I mean the non-technical press, not that lot -->

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"How is it quantified?"

By being big enough for politicians to notice something's wrong.

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Joke

By being big enough for politicians to notice something's wrong

..so bigger than Brexit then?

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Re: needs to become an official el-reg measure

Where would SNAFUBAR fit?

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Re: needs to become an official el-reg measure

You're combining two acronyns: SNAFU, FUBAR.

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Select Committee !== Govrernment

C'mon, Kat, select committee's ain't part of the government and describing them so is sloppy; it's like calling Ofwat "the water companies", or misrepresenting a gamekeeper as a poacher.

I seriously wanted to make a joke about how the government, given their track record, can't afford to lecture anyone else on IT. But I can't , in good faith, make that joke on the basis of this report. Except elliptically.

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Re: Select Committee !== Govrernment

Such committee's are usually _selected_ almost entirely from current and previous government members. The clue is in the name.

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Excellent idea

i'm sure the Government getting involved is going to reduce the pressure on the poor bastards trying to fix this so they can see the problem more clearly and fix it.

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Pint

Re: Excellent idea

True. As a TSB customer and an IT professional it's easy to mock. But we've all been there, know someone who has, or had to clean up the mess someone else has made. So the techies scrambling to fix this have my sympathies. The architects, BAs, PMs and C-level execs who ultimately should've made sure this didn't happen, not so much.

Icon, for what I hope someone buys the developers, DBAs and ops people when it's all over.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent idea

Maybe the devs, dba’s and op’s people ignored the architects and did their own thing as they thought they knew better...

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Re: Excellent idea

Maybe the devs, dba’s and op’s people ignored the architects and did their own thing as they thought they knew better...

I can see you haven't worked in banking IT.

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Mushroom

Re: Excellent idea

More likely they followed the architects design, despite the techies telling them it was an incomplete, half-arsed, ill conceived bag of shit.

Of course that's never happened here.

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Re: Excellent idea

Maybe the devs, dba’s and op’s people [sic] ignored the architects and did their own thing as they thought they knew better...

Much more likely, the devs DBAs and ops people did know better, since their job roles will involve a degree of expertise in their chosen fields, but their concerns went unheard because their middle-managers didn't want to jeopardise a comfortable life by passing problems upwards.

The 'architects' in this case were probably a bunch of sales types who got a Groupon to do a cheap PRINCE2 course and now believe that they know everything there is to know because their pinstripe suits are snappier, and are almost certainly the root cause of the problem. They probably think testing starts and finishes with making sure the software doesn't emit errors when you run it up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent idea

I can see you haven’t, i have and do...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent idea

Maybe the architects took a TOGAF course instead of a PRINCE2 course, and just maybe they are technical experts in their field, just like all the other architects ive met working in Technical Architecture for banks...

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