Patelco Credit Union ransomware outage could go on for weeks

A ransomware attack on Bay-area Patelco Credit Union caused almost half a million members to lose access to banking services, and the outage could last for weeks.

The company shared news of the attack on June 29 via Twitter. The services knocked off line include online banking, the company’s mobile app, direct deposits, transfers, debit and credit card transactions, Zelle, balance inquiries, online bill payments and monthly statements, among others.

In addition to consumer banking, Patelco Credit Union is a mortgage originator and offers home equity lines of credit and mortgage refinancing. The company is based in Dublin, California but serves the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

Patelco CEO Erin Mendez released a statement on Wednesday saying its cybersecurity specialists have gotten “core systems” validated and that the money of members is “safe and secure.” She added that she doesn’t expect to have the systems up and running this weekend.

“I know this continues to cause our members frustration and many of you have questions,” she said in the statement, adding that any fees incurred as a result of the shutdown will be waived. “We hear your concerns and are working around the clock to address them. Our team is committed to doing everything we can to support our members through this difficult situation.”

The Mercury News reported that the hackers infiltrated the bank’s internal databases via a phishing email and encrypted its contents, which locked the bank out of its systems.

Patelco operates as a nonprofit cooperative and has $9 billion in assets. While the company has provided daily updates since the attack on June 29, there doesn’t appear to be a timeline for when their systems might be back up and it has warned that further outages could come.

Services that remain online include check and cash deposits, ATM withdrawals, ACH transfers, ACH for bill payments, and in-branch loan payments.

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