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Bank of America ATMs Disrupted by Virus


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Saturday, January 25, 2003; 5:33 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp. said on Saturday that customers at a majority of its 13,000 automatic teller machines were unable to process customer transactions after a malicious computer worm nearly froze Internet traffic worldwide.

Bank of America spokeswoman Lisa Gagnon said by phone from the company's headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, that many, if not a majority of the No. 3 U.S. bank's ATMs were back online and that their automated banking network would recover by late Saturday.

Web traffic slowed suddenly and dramatically worldwide for hours after a fast-spreading computer worm clogged pipelines of the global network carrying data, Web pages and e-mail, officials said.

"We have been impacted, and for a while customers could not use ATMs and customer services could not access customer information," Gagnon said.

Gagnon said that the worm, which slows down computer networks by replicating rapidly and spreading to other servers, did not cause any damage to customer information, but slowed down or blocked access to that sensitive information, making transactions difficult.

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