Ongoing blackout paralyzes major Turkish lender Akbank

One of Turkey’s largest lenders, Akbank has been suffering widespread system outages since early Tuesday, leaving its customers unable to access their accounts.

Users were still not able to carry out their transactions or access the bank’s digital banking system as of Wednesday afternoon.

Akbank is Turkey’s seventh-largest bank and fourth-biggest private lender by assets,which reached TL 446 billion (around $51.4 billion) as of 2020-end, up from TL 360 billion in 2019.

The shutdown prompted rumors of a possible cyberattack but the bank dismissed the claims and issued a public apology.

“There are no security breaches. Our related units are working to solve the problem,” it said on Twitter.

“The outages stemming from technical issues in our bank’s main computer are ongoing. Efforts to solve the issue is ongoing. Our customers can access the precautions we adopted from our website,” it added.

Many of its customers took to social media to express their frustration over the failure.

On its website, Akbank said that customers’ scheduled payments to the bank were delayed for a day and that no interest for late payment will be applied to those unable to make their payments because of the outage.

International hacktivist group Anonymous, meanwhile, said that they didn’t hack Akbank.

The outage echoed a cyber-heist in December 2016 when hackers targeted Akbank via the SWIFT global money transfer system.

The bank had said the attack had no compromised customer data but cost it up to $4 million (TL 34.71 million).


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