RBC e-mail scam plays on computer crash fears

RBC e-mail scam plays on computer crash fears

Royal Bank of Canada has been hit by an e-mail phishing scam, barely a week after a simple coding error led to a massive payments snafu at the bank.

The bank is warning customers to be wary of e-mail pointing to a bogus RBC Web site that asks recipients to verify their account details. The scam appears to be a deliberate attempt to play on the confusion from the computer foul-up that disrupted payments processing for RBC customers last week.

RBC chief executive Gordon Nixon has called in a team of consultants from IBM to conduct an independent review of the root cause of the problem and the recovery procedures that were employed.

In a preliminary report back to clients, the bank says the problems stemmed from an error made in a program change on Monday, May 31 that surfaced in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 1 June.

Talking to local reporters, RBC chief information officer Marty Lippert said: "It was a program change. The guy made some mistakes. I mean, he made some mistakes with respect to how he went through the testing process with respect to it. It appears, as we're going through this, that it didn't get tested as fully as it should have been and, as a result, it created the problem."

Once the bug was fixed, the bank's automated systems were then thrown into confusion by commands to run two day's transactions simultaneously, forcing a manual over-ride of the automated scheduling systems and further delays in processing.

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