Eftpos firm wants EDS assurance

EDS is still in the dark as to the detailed technical reason for the recent electricity supply outage at its Auckland data centre - the second in a month - which shut down thousands of Eftpos and ATM terminals.

EDS is still in the dark as to the detailed technical reason for the recent electricity supply outage at its Auckland data centre — the second in a month — which shut down thousands of Eftpos and ATM terminals.

Another “root cause analysis” is in progress but EDS spokeswoman Helen Morgan-Banda says whatever the cause, it was not the same as the cause of last month’s outage.

This time, the problem was in switching from the generator supply back to mains supply. After a planned diversion of power to allow maintenance of one of the centre’s unuinterruptible power supplies (UPSs), the UPS was tested by switching to generator power, but then failed in the switch back to the mains, Morgan Banda says. Power was interrupted for about two minutes.

Last month’s interruption was caused by a power spike tripping a switch that meant the UPS could not bring on the generator supply.

At that time, EDS said such faults are a very rare occurrence, and no changes would be made to equipment or operating procedures as a result.

Electronic Transaction Services(ETSL) runs a large part of the Eftpos network. ETSL spokesman Darryl Roots says the brief outage cut the power to the “security processors”, whose encryption keys need to be reloaded following such a failure. That process meant service to consumers and merchants was interrupted for 35 minutes.

“We are obviously very, very concerned to ensure EDS has taken and will take steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again,” says ETSL general manager Ron Brown.

At a meeting with EDS staff “we expressed our dissatisfaction with the standard of service”, he says.

When ETSL receives the report resulting from EDS’s analysis, it will be submitted to an independent third party, which will audit EDS’s explanations and suggested remedies.

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