NS&I log-in problems persist for four days and it claims it was NOT a cyber attack

A four-day computer meltdown at National Savings and Investments has been blamed on a ‘technical issue’ that led to a flood of customers being blocked from accounts.

It’s not known how many of its 24 million customers were unable to log in to access savings accounts and Premium Bonds on Saturday, but hundreds reported they were still blocked until yesterday when the problem was sorted out.

Despite speculation the major IT glitch was caused by a cyber attack, the Government-backed savings giant is adamant this was not behind the chaos caused for customers. 

NS&I initially blamed heavy online traffic and systems updates but later admitted to a technical issue.

NS&I introduced two-factor authentication into its account log-in process two years ago as an extra layer of security to try and stop hackers from stealing data. Customers now get a one-time passcode sent to their mobile phone to log in to their account.

Glitch: A four-day computer meltdown at National Savings and Investments led to a flood of customers being blocked from accounts

Tina Deeming, 64, of Loughborough, Leicestershire, was blocked by NS&I on Saturday morning from getting access to vital funds by cashing in £500 worth of Premium Bonds. 

The retired IT consultant says: ‘I was greeted by a message stating there were intermittent log in problems. I tried many times over the weekend and got very frustrated as I need the money for groceries and the rent.’

As late as yesterday lunchtime customers trying to log in were still being greeted with a ‘We’re aware of an intermittent issue with our website while logging in and are working hard to fix this. Thank you for your patience and sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.’

Eddie Ferguson, 77, a retired IT manager from Stockport, Greater Manchester, was also one of the many that contacted us reporting a problem after trying to log in over four separate days. 

Eddie says: ‘It is pathetic. The idea of introducing double-authentication to ensure the system is safe is a great one – but only if it actually works.’

The length of the delay indicates possibly a more serious problem with a computer system meltdown or a cyber attack.’

NS&I would not comment on how many customers were blocked from logging in. It said some problems may also have been caused by ‘time drift’. 

This is when the device you are using to log on, such as a laptop, is out of sync with the mobile phone to which an authentication code is sent. 

To solve this it suggests you check time and date settings on your phone and make sure it has updated.


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