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Five major banks from Canada were impacted by an hours-long outage that got them offline. Online and mobile banking together with customer e-transfer services were blocked during this time.

Canadian Online Banking Off for Hours

Among the impacted Canadian banks were also BMO (Bank of Montreal), Scotiabank, TD Bank Canada, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

According to the BleepingComputer publication, more user reports on the fact that their online banking did not work were registered between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.

An RBC representative posted a tweet announcing technical issues with online and mobile banking services.

Andrew Curries, a customer of RBC, said he had no access to money and was stuck in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Other customers from BMO  noticed that the “Global Money Transfer service” did not work the whole day, as transfers were automatically rejected and they were further advised to contact customer support.

CIBC asserted that there is no problem with the online banking service in a Tweet.

There seemed to be an issue also with the mobile bank app from TD Bank with users being locked out from the app and the service meeting interruption.

What’s the Cause of the Massive Outage?

As the same publication mentions, the cause triggering this outage is not known at the moment, but the timing apparently is correlated with the event where the Emergencies Act was invoked by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.

This act was further explained by Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, during a recent press conference.

In invoking the Emergencies Act, we are announcing the following immediate actions. (…) First, we are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules, so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions including digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies. (…) The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act. Our banks and financial institutions are already obligated to report to The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada or FINTRAC. (…) As of today, all crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with FINTRAC, and they must report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC. (…) This will help mitigate the risk that these platforms receive illicit funds.


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Andra Andrioaie

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Hi! My name is Andra and I am a passionate writer interested in a variety of topics. I am curious about the cybersecurity world and what I want to achieve through what I write is to keep you curious too!