You can bank on this news

One of my spies reports Bank of America was 'brought to its knees' last week by the Code Red virus. Despite proclaiming the worm caused 'no customer impact', it was forced to shut down all of its intranet routers for at least a day, leaving the entire bank without internet service.

"Let's go shopping!" Amber said with a smile. Like many hardworking, underappreciated techies, I'm not a rich man. But out of the blue I received a small inheritance from my recently deceased uncle, God bless him. The question is what to do next.

Bank woes

Of course, I should bank the cheque, but given Bank of America's experience I'll be careful. One of my spies reports Bank of America was "brought to its knees" last week by the Code Red virus. Despite proclaiming the worm caused "no customer impact", it was forced to shut down all of its intranet routers for at least a day, leaving the entire bank without internet service.

According to a confidential internal memo I obtained: "The most significant impact has been that some associates are unable to access the internet and some internal web applications due to preventative measures."

Meanwhile, word is Code Red hit others including First Union and Bank One. Now I remember why granny stuffed money under her mattress.

Wells Fargo is also having interesting times. A reader told me that he received an email from Wells Fargo containing new online banking information for a woman he doesn't know.

Curiously, when he went to do a search from "corporate offices Wells Fargo & company", he found a Microsoft case study advertising that Wells Fargo was moving its entire corporate infrastructure to Windows 2000. I'm sure we would all like to think that was an intentional marketing ploy.

Damn that worm

Meanwhile, Code Red also caused havoc with Qwest's DSL service. A Qwest customer told me he lost his DSL connection in late July and then again in early August; but this time it happened without explanation because support lines were jammed.

As of August 7, my informant had been without service for five days. The last I heard he'd been waiting on the phone for 3.75 hours with an expected wait time of 119 minutes.

Which spam is worse?

And as if that's not enough, the tales of woe extend to AT&T, which apparently can't control its spam identifier service.

A reader says it scans his incoming mail, adding "<<POTENTIAL-SPAM>>" to the subject line -- for ease of identification, I presume.

Then if you notify AT&T that a message is spam, the company sends you two emails acknowledging your submission. Furthermore, its email address for cancelling the automatic acknowledgement apparently doesn't work.

"You know, it's my birthday soon," Amber teased. This is weird; I've never had anyone love me for my money.

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