Security & Fraud

Travelex Back Online After Cyberattack

Travelex Back Online After Cyberattack

Money travel service Travelex is back online after a cyberattack forced it to use paper and pen to manually complete transactions for customers over the holidays, according to a report by Reuters.

The attack affected the company for almost a month, as the IT company was tasked with checking each of the company’s computers.

Travelex had to take all of its systems offline during the attack, which made it very difficult for customers who needed holiday cash and online services.

The company, which is owned by Finablr, said a week ago that its systems in Britain were back in order and that a phased global restoration was “firmly underway.”

On early Tuesday (Jan. 28), Reuters checked Travelex partner websites Tesco Bank, Barclays, HSBC and Virgin Money and said they were still down.

Travelex was affected by a form of ransomware called Sodinokibi, but said that it didn’t pay any money to the hackers. British broadcasting company BBC said it talked to the hackers and that the ransom was about $6 million.

The losses will be covered, at least in part, by an insurance policy for cyberattacks via insurance broker Gallagher.

The hackers said they downloaded five gigabytes of data, which they had been collecting for almost half a year. There’s also the possibility that Travelex could face regulatory action for the attack. Fines for this type of action could be in the area of 4 percent of the company’s annual top line, which would be about $950 million.

During the attack, the company said it was urgently trying to “contain and limit” the attack, and that it was communicating through WhatsApp instead of email.

At the time, Barclays said they were “unable to process foreign currency orders due to an issue with our service provider, Travelex,” and that they were working to resume services as soon as possible.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.