Updated: Westpac air con causes IT meltdown

An air conditioing fault at the bank's data centre has caused a number of issues with EFTPOS, ATM and online banking

Westpac has rectified issues with a number of its ATM and EFTPOS facilties following the glitch that left customers unable to use a number of the bank's services this morning.

"ATM and EFTPOS now available. We are working on recovering Internet Banking. Once again apologies for the inconvenience," the bank tweeted.

The bank suffered an IT meltdown overnight following an air conditioning fault at one of the bank’s data centres.

A Westpac spokesperson said the problems had been triggered by an air conditioning problem resulting in the shut down of the bank’s online banking facilities.

“It has also affected a number of our ATM and EFTPOS facilities so obviously at the present moment we’re trying to rectify the issue to ensure our customers aren’t interrupted.”

The bank issued a statement via its website noting issues and the unavailability of its online banking services. It has also been providing updates to customers via Twitter.

“We are currently experiencing technical issues. Currently being investigated. Very sorry for inconvenience,” the bank tweeted.

An EFTPOS spokesperson said the outage was “very much being handled by Westpac”, however noted EFTPOS was working with the bank to resolve the issue.

The meltdown follows the bank’s recent glitch with its online banking portal which suffered numerous issues throughout a two week period.

According to posts on the bank’s Twitter page at the time, the issue was caused by “heavy demand” for its online banking services.

"We're experiencing heavy demand for online banking at the moment. If you can't log in, please try again in a short while," read one tweet from the bank at the time.

Westpac customers have also been bombarded with malicious emails requesting customers to fill out a survey or restore their account details.

It also found evidence of fake SMS asking for account details as well as scammers phoning up customers claiming to be from Westpac.

Data centre cooling and power front and centre in outage

Data centre specialist and the director of Adelaide based Computer Site Solutions, Mike Lockett, said the incident was a timely reminder for Australian businesses to review their data centre’s capacity to cope with a fault.

“It’s vital data centres have additional power and cooling that can be utilised if one of the air conditioning units or power sources fail,” Lockett said in a statement.

“We know from experience that many centres just don’t have this capacity and it makes them extremely vulnerable."

He said organisations should consider the redundancy of their data centres as "a small investment" compared to not being able to operate a business or losing customer goodwill.

“In the case of Westpac, it not only impacted their operations but those of their thousands of customers who rely on their ATM and EFTPOS facilities. The damage to their business and that of their customers could run into millions of dollars.”

Additional reporting by CIO Australia staff

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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