ETrade: Service Denied
A “malicious” cyber attack offshore of Australia forced the shutdown of ANZ Bank’s ETrade, Australia’s second-biggest online broking business.
A denial-of-service attack resulted in thousands of emails flooding the broking site, prompting the shutdown. This shutdown continued during the Christmas to New Year period. ETrade customers attempting to access accounts overseas first noticed the lockout as the bank denied access to all overseas users. Access was restored following the performance of risk assessments on individual countries.
Some countries were unable to access accounts for almost two weeks. Users offshore were principally affected; however, customers in Australia had intermittent access on Dec. 19 and 20, said an ETrade spokesman.
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''We experienced some malicious activity that impacted the performance of the ETrade website prior to Christmas,'' he said in a statement. ''We responded immediately to minimise any disruption to our clients and ensure our data remained secure … we were able assist customers that made contact to execute trades … At no stage was security of the ETrade site breached.''
The spokesman did not elaborate further on details of the attack.
The financial and insurance industry was labelled the “target of choice” in cyber threat landscapes, according to a paper from the Australian Institute of Criminology. This sector is exposed to a ''wide range of financially motivated cyber criminal activities'' because of its increasing dependence on information and communications technology.
A denial-of-service attack prevents customers and the business from trading, but can also mask other illegal activities. This can lead to the loss of value of potential business, as well as the customer base’s goodwill and reputation that increasingly desires on-demand service.
The financial impact on ETrade is difficult to predict with the market closed for part of the period and lower-volume trading.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.