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The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones
"Barclays says this latest problem was due to human error"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 00:48 GMT 01:48 UK
Barclays admits new security breach
Barclays Online Banking website
Barclays Bank has admitted to the BBC that there has been another security breach at its online service.

One day after a serious security problem caused the service to be closed down for several hours, a customer using the site was confronted with another person's account details when he logged on.

In the context of yesterday's problem, the timing of this error is unfortunate

Ian Smith was able to examine the account held by another Barclays customer who lived nearby.

He said he was "extremely angry" because if he could see someone else's details, he assumed that other people might also be able to see his.

'Human error'

Barclays said the new security breach was unrelated to Monday's problems.

The bank said a clerk had keyed in account details incorrectly, creating a link between the two accounts.

It released a statement saying: "Two customers with the same street address and postcode have accidentally had their account details tied together.

Two customers with the same street address and postcode have accidentally had their account details tied together

"This is a purely clerical error which, with 13-million customers, happens from time to time within the bank. We very much regret this.

"In the context of yesterday's problem, the timing of this error is unfortunate.

"However, we have been able to amend immediately our customer's records and rectify the mistake.

"We are working to put in place improved procedures to help ensure such incidents are minimised in the future."

Barclays says it has no plans to close its online banking service again because the mistake was down to human error and was nothing to do with the service itself.


Bill King, whose details were disclosed to Mr Smith, said he was particularly angry because it was not the first time his personal finances had been shown inadvertently to another customer.

Mr King said he had discovered that his account details had also been seen by someone else two weeks ago.

And he said on that occasion the bank had not even told him.

Earlier breach

On Monday morning, four customers who logged into Barclays' online service found they were able to read details of other people's accounts.

Barclays said that problem was associated with a software upgrade which had gone live overnight on Saturday.

It shut down the service at 1430 GMT on Monday, re-instated the old system and re-opened at 1800 GMT.

A Barclays spokeswoman said at the time: "We will have a thorough review of the system and check it all through and we will not relaunch until totally confident this cannot happen again."

She said seven complaints had been received from the thousands of customers who had used the site.

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