No use crying over spilled milk

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No use crying over spilled milk

Following the hacking incident at Hyundai Capital, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, saw all of its banking transactions suddenly come to a halt after its electronics system crashed on Tuesday.

Although similar disturbances have occurred at other financial institutions in the past, none of the other institutions has failed to get their systems back up and running for two consecutive days.

As a result of the crash, Internet banking, phone banking and ATM transactions and all on-site deposit- and-withdrawal services were suspended until Wednesday morning. Fortunately, some services were partially revived on Wednesday afternoon but Nonghyup still doesn’t know what caused the system malfunction, though it did say the glitch was not caused by hacking.

But the electronic disorder that Nonghyup says originated from an IBM transmission server at a computing center in southern Seoul must certainly have inflicted a myriad of inconveniences on its customers, not to mention financial losses for some.

Banking companies are always equipped with double- or triple-backup systems to prepare for possible accidents, including system overload, because system paralysis inevitably wreaks financial havoc on individual customers as well as other industries.

Computer experts say the incident at Nonghyup was caused by a breakdown of the transmission terminal and the resultant inactivation of backup systems. If a backup system cannot play its role during a breakdown, it cannot be called a “backup system” at all. Nonghyup should take responsibility for the incident, which ended up paralyzing its entire banking system.

Computing disorders are not a rarity in the banking business today.

For example, Kookmin Bank, a leader in the industry, also experienced a temporary discontinuation of conventional and Internet banking services due to a serious computer glitch following a system upgrade last February.

Citibank Korea also suffered a tremendous loss when water flooded a section of its computer room after a system cooler was ruptured in the cold weather.

The Financial Supervisory Service has announced it will soon launch a special inspection of the computing systems of Hyundai Capital and Nonghyup. As the saying goes, however, there is no use in crying over spilled milk.
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