Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bank of America Accidentally Shuts Down Web Site Trying to Delete Evidence of Fraud

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Bank of America customers reported on Tuesday that the bank’s Web site, which controls the on-line banking platforms for millions of Americans, was completely down. Although the bank restored service for a brief time, the site became inoperative again in the afternoon. Bank of America spokespeople denied that the systems had been compromised, despite threats from Anonymous -- a “hacktivist” group that supports WikiLeaks -- to launch attacks similar to those that plagued PayPal and HBGary. Based on a tweet from Anonymous, which concluded by saying, “We love problems that solve themselves,” technology experts doubt that the group had anything to do with the outage.

Bartholomew Hyootner, a San Narciso-based IT specialist who’s been following the situation, said, “My preliminary findings suggest that a BofA network geek accidentally deleted thousands of customer records instead of the evidence that proved bank officials knowingly sold billions worth of toxic securities to investors. Happens all the time. One database table gets confused with another. It’s an honest mistake.”

BofA’s Shady Deals
In 2009, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Computer World that he was in possession of enough information to “take down a bank or two.” He later identified the primary target as Bank of America.

BofA is already under the gun, defending itself from multiple lawsuits by swindled investors demanding that the bank buy back billions worth of toxic mortgages-backed securities. The firm stopped issuing subprime mortgages in 2001, but continued to underwrite subprime mortgage-backed securities. In September 2009, for example, BofA underwrote $239 million worth of securities backed by subprime loans.

Bank executives worry that if Assange produces emails proving that they intentionally peddled toxic dregs to investors, the ensuing lawsuits could cripple the enterprise and sap a few million dollars from lavish annual bonuses.

But the scandals don’t end there.

BofA was also at the heart of the robo-signing controversy that resulted in wrongful foreclosures on countless American families.

BofA’s ill-advised acquisition of Countrywide, one of the most unscrupulous and aggressive lenders during the housing bubble, created a tsunami of liabilities and legal actions.

And following BofA’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch, made possible by $20 billion in government bail-out funds, Lynch revealed that it had hemorrhaged away $15.8 billion. Still, $3.6 billion in bonuses were paid to Lynch executives.

Covering Its Tracks
Julian Assange has maintained for over a year that he has enough hard evidence to “break the bank.” It seems that now, with the backing of Anonymous, BofA is taking the threats seriously.

According to Bartholomew Hyootner, who has been discussing the case with financial services industry insiders, Assange is preparing to release his documents at long last.

“We’ve seen this with Enron and Tyco and so many others,” Hyootner said.

“They find themselves caught in an unfortunate but understandable position, and then they scramble to shred all the evidence. And as commercial enterprises, they can do what they want. They’re not government agencies, accountable to the public. It’s unrestricted free market capitalism, and it works. Personally, I’m an Objectivist, so I believe BofA should be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants. But what boils my blood is when companies of this stature hire unqualified IT people to do an important and sensitive task -- like deleting confidential emails and interoffice documents -- but who turn around and screw it all up. Now look. Thousands of customers had their bank accounts frozen because some idiot erased the wrong table on the wrong server. I wouldn’t have made that mistake. If BofA would’ve hired me, they’d be in the clear right now. I’m currently unemployed -- have been since I got laid off from AIG -- so return my calls, BofA. Seriously, I can fix this.”

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