A DoS or denial-of-service attack hit Charles Schwab & Co. on Tuesday and continued to cause problems into Wednesday. Both the website and the mobile app were offline at various times on both days. The company acknowledged the problem and said an attack was responsible. It gave a brief statement on the topic, apologizing to the company’s clients for any inconvenience the outage caused.
The company guessed that the problem was a denial-of-service attack when it started getting an abnormal number of requests around the time the outage began. On Tuesday, it went on for nearly two hours. On Wednesday, the outage was less solid. The company delivered a tweet on Wednesday about the continued issue, said it was related to the problems it had on Tuesday and went on to say that the company was working on a solution.
In the interim, Charles Schwab & Co. offered their clients the option to call the company when they wanted to place trades. As a discount brokerage company, clients definitely want access and Schwab definitely does not want to limit it. The customer service number is 1-800-435-4000 for anyone still having access issues.
Walt Bettinger, CEO of Charles Schwab & Co. offered an apology to affected clients on Wednesday, but did not seem confident that the problem was at an end. In fact, he stated that it was likely to happen again. The reason for this is the trend of DoS attacks in the financial and trading industries. However, he did say that the company was working to keep it from continuing.
Despite the instances of DoS attacks on similar companies, this is rare for Charles Schwab & Co. It can also cost them if clients who enjoy the ease of online trading decide not to call the company when there are outages. Furthermore, trading is time sensitive. Clients could lose big if they are unable to make a lucrative trade in time.
A denial-of-service attack is essentially an overload on a website’s servers. The perpetrator will send thousands of requests to the site at the same time so the site becomes unable to manage the volume. This is a common kind of attack, which can be avoided and stopped once it begins. Service disruption is common, but a professional can have the site back up relatively quickly. At this point, Schwab says that it does not know who attacked the site.