23 Quadrillion Mistake

WMUR, a local station in Manchester, reports that a simple card swipe has gone awry: Debit Card Charged $23 Quadrillion

Muszynski swiped his debit card at a local Mobil gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes for a few bucks, Instead, his Bank of America account indicated he spent $23,148,855,308,184,500 at the gas station — an amount for which he probably could have used to buy the entire company.

The punch line is that the Bank then charged him a $15 overdraft fee. No, wait, the punchline is that nobody wanted to even attempt to explain.

WMUR News 9 contacted Bank of America about the statement mishap, but representatives said the card issuer, Visa, could only answer questions. Visa, in turn, recommended that WMUR News 9 contact the bank.

This goes back to my presentation on the Top 10 Breaches, and podcast on RBS Worldpay, where I explained in detail how bank controls can be defeated such that unlimited funds can be pulled from cards in a very short period of time. Banks need no new technology to prevent this, just better security engineering in the applications they already run.

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