Brit banks must disclose outages via API, decrees finance watchdog

Perhaps TSB's total s*itshow wasn't in vain


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is enforcing new rules that obligate banks to publicly reveal the number and frequency of online outages – including whether these were caused by malicious actors.

Billed as part of consumer-friendly changes to the small print for online banking services, new rules from the FCA and the Competition and Markets Authority will make financial institutions proactively reveal how often they have had to report “major operational and security incidents”.

The move was telegraphed by the FCA over the past few months, having begun with the TSB fiasco in April.

Banks will have to “publish the information on their websites in a consistent format” according to the FCA, while big banks will be expected to dish it up via an API compliant with the Open Banking Standards specs.

A quick squint at the Bank of Scotland’s OBS API (other flavours of moneymen are available) reveals four public incident reporting metrics are currently in use: “total number of incidents reported”; “incidents affecting telephone banking”; “incidents affecting mobile banking”; and “incidents affecting internet banking”.

The latter is likely to be of most interest to infosec-minded folk, as well as uncharitable techies wanting to exercise a little schadenfreude. (yes, you, Reg readers)

The FCA’s master list of banks’ APIs can be found on its website.

“More than any other industry, banks still contain a mix of archaic legacy systems, new cloud platforms, and yet are under pressure to accelerate their software development to combat the threat of their ‘digital-first’ competitors,” opined Dave Anderson, a marketing bod from API-making biz Dynatrace, in a canned quote.

Another marketer, Andrew Stevens of customer service biz Quadient, gravely intoned: “Banks should see this as an opportunity to improve their relationship with customers. By opening up a conversation and being clear about any disruptions to service, internal changes, or even changes to accounts will go a long way in positioning the bank as a trusted provider which cares about its customers..”

Small comfort for folk who were locked out of their TSB accounts earlier this year. Still, better to bolt the stable door before the rest of the herd make a dash for it. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Yet again, Cream Finance skimmed by crooks: $130m in crypto assets stolen

    Third time's the unlucky charm for loan outfit

    Decentralized finance biz Cream Finance became further decentralized on Wednesday with the theft of $130m worth of crypto assets from its Ethereum lending protocol.

    Cream (cream.finance and not creamfinance.com) reported the loss via Twitter, the third such incident for the loan platform this year.

    "Our Ethereum C.R.E.A.M. v1 lending markets were exploited and liquidity was removed on October 27, 1354 UTC," the Taiwan-based biz said. "The attacker removed a total of ~$130m USD worth of tokens from these markets, using this address. No other markets were impacted."

    Continue reading
  • OpenID-based security features added to GitHub Actions as usage doubles

    Single-use tokens and reusable workflows explained at Universe event

    GitHub Universe GitHub Actions have new security based on OpenID, along with the ability to create reusable workflows, while usage has nearly doubled year on year, according to presentations at the Universe event.

    The Actions service was previewed three years ago at Universe 2018, and made generally available a year later. It was a huge feature, building automation into the GitHub platform for the first time (though rival GitLab already offered DevOps automation).

    It require compute resources, called runners, which can be GitHub-hosted or self-hosted. Actions are commands that execute on runners. Jobs are a sequence of steps that can be Actions or shell commands. Workflows are a set of jobs which can run in parallel or sequentially, with dependencies. For example, that deployment cannot take place unless build and test is successful. Actions make it relatively easy to set up continuous integration or continuous delivery, particularly since they are cloud-hosted and even a free plan offers 2,000 automation minutes per month, and more than that for public repositories.

    Continue reading
  • REvil gang member identified living luxury lifestyle in Russia, says German media

    Die Zeit: He's got a Beemer, a Bitcoin watch and a swimming pool

    German news outlets claim to have identified a member of the infamous REvil ransomware gang – who reportedly lives the life of Riley off his ill-gotten gains.

    The gang member, nicknamed Nikolay K by Die Zeit newspaper and the Bayerische Rundfunk radio station, reportedly owns a €70,000 watch with a Bitcoin address engraved on its face and rents yachts for €1,300 a day whenever he goes on holiday.

    "He seems to prefer T-shirts from Gucci, luxurious BMW sportscars and large sunglasses," reported Die Zeit, which partly identified him through social media videos posted by his wife.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021