EXCLUSIVE: St George Bank has been forced to deny it has become the victim of a cyber attack by hackers after customers have been locked out this weekend from accessing their internet and mobile banking apps, while others have seemingly had their accounts wiped out of all money.
Customers of St George Bank are still unable to access their bank accounts through internet banking or mobile apps, having been locked out of them since the morning hours of Saturday, December 1.
It’s believed the issues have been occurring since at least 8am (AEDT).
The bank made a public announcement about the troubles a few hours later at 10.25am.
“There are currently difficulties with our Internet and Mobile Banking, and some customers may also have received some delayed notifications this morning,” the statement from the bank over Twitter reads.
“We’re working to fix ASAP and will update you here. Our apologies, we know how frustrating this must be.”
In response, many of the bank’s customers outlined how the issues may be deeper than just unexplained “difficulties”.
“Went to the ATM and it says I am -$12 balance?” wrote one aggrieved customer over Twitter. “WTF? Cannot use online banking to find out. FAIL…”
Another customer, Peter Hindwood, meanwhile said it looked like his accounts were cleaned up too:
“Cannot log into banking with the app, and got an SMS at 4am saying account is low? What’s going on?”
Others, though, could do little more than express their outrage.
“It has been two hours that I couldn’t access my account!!!” wrote William Wang.
The response over Facebook wasn’t much kinder.
“ATM shows I have a negative balance? WTF? No online banking to find out what’s going on, no posts of explanations,” posted Luke Brennan onto the bank’s Facebook page.
“St George you are killing me, I won’t forgive you for this,” wrote another angry customer.
Another customer said he would be closing his accounts down, and encouraging others to do likewise.
“You are literally scum,” the enraged customer posted.
“This issue happens so often I’m pulling my accounts and I’m making friends do the same. I can’t access my money because I require net banking to do so. Absolute scum.”
True Crime News Weekly contacted St George Bank early on Saturday afternoon about the technical issues.
We asked the bank’s spokesperson whether it had been the victim of the a cyber attack or target of a hack by criminals.
“We are aware and looking into it,” the spokesperson said in response to all our questions at first.
An hour later, the bank told True Crime News Weekly that there was “no security issue” with the outage a result of a planned upgrade.
“We are constantly upgrading our IT systems to better meet our customers’ needs and introduce new functionality,” a spokesperson said.
“While we aim to ensure continuity of our digital services, on this occasion unforeseen circumstances has caused an outage.
“Our IT and business teams are urgently working to restore these services.”
The bank said that “any fees or charges incurred by customers as a result of the outage will be reimbursed” but would not say when normal functions and access to customers will be resumed.