Digital Banking Access Update

Winnipeg, MB - February 12, 2019

Some members have been calling in about their digital banking access. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Was there a security breach at ACU recently?

No.

Why were some ACU members recently locked out of their digital banking?

  • Across Canada, financial institutions and businesses continue to experience an increase in day-to-day cyber fraud attempts. This is an ongoing reality for everyone.
  • ACU has strong policies and procedures in place to help protect our member accounts and funds.
  • Because cyber fraud continues to evolve, we continuously evaluate, test and deploy enhanced security measures to help strengthen our safeguards for members.
  • A recent security update designed to improve the security of member accounts led to some members temporarily losing access to their digital banking.
  • This was an unfortunate and unplanned outcome of our efforts to be over-cautious and caused some members considerable inconvenience for which we apologize.

Why did you not communicate this any sooner?

  • We began investigating as soon as we started receiving member feedback.
  • We wanted to perform a thorough investigation to ensure we got to the root cause in order to resolve it correctly.
  • We wanted to share actual information based on fact, not speculation.
  • We were and remain assured that no security breach occurred.

Was there any money lost due to cyber-fraud?

No.

How many members have been locked out recently?

For security reasons we can’t reveal those details, however we are confident that our 24/7 security monitoring is working to protect members and their money.

What changes will ACU make based on this situation

  • We are always looking to improve our member experience.
  • We may have been over-cautious on your behalf in this instance. We strive to balance our members’ day-to-day banking experience with our ongoing requirement to further tighten security measures.
  • We have recently added a feature to help protect our websites from spam and abuse. When members log in online, they may be presented with a test designed to tell human and bots apart.

What happens to a member’s funds if they lose access to their digital banking?

When digital access to an account is locked, members can still use debit, access funds at any credit union ATM in Canada, or conduct financial transactions at any of ACU’s 16 Winnipeg and two rural branches.

What are typical ways criminals try to break into accounts?

This is an important question and given that we are in tax season, there are a lot of phishing and telephone fraud attempts occurring. Everyone should be aware that this it is an ongoing occurrence. Criminals often gain valid digital account and password numbers using:

  • “Phishing" where fake emails and texts can be sent to you asking for security information.
  • A "brute force" attempt where the fraudsters use computer programs and algorithms to "guess" account numbers and passwords.
  • A “telephone scam” where scammers call people via telephone and impersonate trusted sources.

Advice for members:

  • Always be on guard about potential fraudulent attempts. Notify us of anything suspicious.
  • Create a strong password which is a password that is as long as possible and contains numbers, letters, and special characters.
  • Turn on alerts for your accounts so you get notification of account accesses or large transfers (in or out), large purchases, etc.
  • Change your password on a regular basis.
  • Don’t share passwords or account information. We will never ask you for your password.
  • Don’t click on suspicious eMails or texts. If an eMail or text or call seems suspicious please contact us.
  • If you don’t use digital banking or telephone banking, ask us to disable that on your account.
 

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