The Travelex chief breaks the silence 17 days after the cyber attack

Tony D'SouzaCopyright of the image

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Tony D’Souza said it was “inappropriate” to discuss the details of the attack.

The Travelex boss broke the silence over a cyber attack that forced his staff to use pen and paper and stopped selling travel money to some banks and supermarkets.

The company has released a series of short statements since cyber criminals held the company redemption on December 31st.

But in a video message on the company’s website, boss Tony D’Souza said that the computer system used by the store staff works again.

However, other systems remain offline.

In a scripted video that was uploaded to a backup Travelex website, D’Souza said the company had dismantled its systems after the cyber attack on New Year’s Eve.

  • Travelex customer: my money is in limbo
  • Banks stop currency service after Travelex attack

However, while he claimed that the system used by staff now works, it was not known when the company’s main website would be back in service.

This means that customers are still not able to order currency online, from Travelex itself or through the network of banks that use its services, including Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s financial websites.

Travelex had said little publicly since hackers held the ransom of their systems by encrypting their digital files, reportedly asking for $ 6 million (£ 4.6 million) to unlock that data.

But D’Souza said it “isn’t appropriate” to discuss the details of the attack, adding that an investigation is underway. “To date, there is no evidence that any data has left the organization,” he said.

But hackers, a gang called Sodinokibi, told the BBC that they had gained access to the company’s computer network six months ago and claim to have downloaded 5 GB of sensitive customer data.

Birth dates, credit card information and national insurance numbers are all in their possession, they said.

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Travelex said it is working closely with the metropolitan police, who are investigating the attack.

D’Souza said the outage was “inconvenient” for Travelex’s partners and apologized to customers for the “inconvenience”.

He said the company was able to honor “most” of online orders placed by customers before December 31st, adding that only a “relatively small proportion” of its end customers used their website to order currency.

“One of the interesting things about our retail business is just how much it could be described as walk-in,” he said. However, he said, “I’m not trying to reduce the disruption some of our customers have had to face.”

D’Souza said that Travelex has a “clear strategy” to restore the rest of its services. “We have made good progress in our recovery and I am delighted to say that our first customer-facing systems are now active,” he said.

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