September 16, 2010

Speculation about the JPMorgan Chase authentication database outage

Edit: Subsequent to making this post, I obtained more detail about the JPMorgan Chase database outage.

I was just contacted for comment about the Chase database outage, about which they’ve released remarkably little information (they’ve even apologized for their terseness). About all Chase has said is:

A third-party database company’s software caused a corruption of systems information, disabling our ability to process customer log-ins to This resulted in a long recovery process,

and even that quote is a bit hard to find. From other reporting, we know that ATM machines, bank branches, and the call centers continued to work, but various web and mobile access applications were disabled.

Of course, that quote is pretty ambiguous. My thoughts on it include:


11 Responses to “Speculation about the JPMorgan Chase authentication database outage”

  1. Steven Klein on September 17th, 2010 2:39 am

    One aspect of their explanation puzzles me: Why would a busted authentication system affect online bill payments?

    According to Chase’s “apology” page, Online Bill Payments scheduled for Monday or Tuesday didn’t get sent until Wednesday.

    I’m no database expert, so I ask you: Does it seem reasonable that some software tool related to authentication would also disable previously scheduled transactions?

  2. Curt Monash on September 17th, 2010 2:59 am

    I’ve gotten the explanation. Will blog it soon.

  3. ChaseSucks on September 17th, 2010 6:03 am

    Chase online banking is horribly unreliable. This is not the first time that Chase has suffered a lengthy outage of its online banking system. For example, Chase online banking was down for 15 hours on August 7 through August 8. This article on the USA Today web site mentions that August outage:

    JPMorgan Chase’s Online Banking Outage Sparks Questions:

    If that URL does not work, Google the article’s headline:
    “JPMorgan Chase’s Online Banking Outage Sparks Questions”

  4. Details of the JP Morgan Chase Oracle database outage | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on September 17th, 2010 7:39 am

    […] posting my speculation about the JP Morgan Chase database outage, I was contacted by – well, by somebody who wants to be referred to as “a credible source close […]

  5. Jonathan on September 17th, 2010 2:38 pm

    Any chance that this was related to the Zeus bot that came to the surface last week. Today Zone Alarm announced a new zeus.zbot.aoaq trogan that specifically keylogs banking usernames and passwords. ESET reported last month on the theft of over 1 million pounds from 100,000 banking customers in England.

    Chase has 16.9 million online users so if it is an attack of that nature it would be the largest bank heist ever. Creepy.

  6. brodie31k on September 21st, 2010 9:32 pm

    There debit card system was down in Canada.

    Chase isn’t very popular in Canada but for some reason Subway had one and it failed during authentication today around noon.

    Cost me $2 in service fees for having to run to the shitty ATM next door.

  7. Curt Monash on September 21st, 2010 9:36 pm

    A week later, in a different country, in a very different application, that’s probably an unrelated outage.

  8. How to preserve investigative reporting in the New Media Era | Text Technologies on September 26th, 2010 8:19 am

    […] me: Because my previous speculative post about the JP Morgan Chase outages had shown up in the search engines and looked pretty […]

  9. On the JPMC outage « I, Geek on September 27th, 2010 4:33 am

    […] 8:32 am (data, design, engineering, musings) The blogosphere is abuzz about JPMC outage (1, 2, 3). The basic reason people cite for long recovery time is a big, ambitious database design – […]

  10. BoA 與 Citi 將採用 iPhone | R.D. on November 8th, 2010 8:40 pm

    […] JP Morgan Chase 的 Oracle database 掛掉 導致線上服務停擺近兩天。銀行系統專用資料庫還有更好的選擇嗎? […]

  11. Getting to the bottom of JPMorgan Chase’s online banking outage | The Last Watchdog on May 18th, 2011 9:45 am

    […] to do before they can confidently  isolate the specific trigger. Monash Research principal Curt Monash calls the bank’s explanation “ambiguous and […]

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