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A bank bug allowed customers to withdraw $40 million!

© Maklay62/Pixabay

The story we are going to tell you takes us to Ethiopia, a country in the Horn of Africa, one of the poorest in the world. The average salary there is only $205 per month (Skuad figures, 2024) – enough to better appreciate the windfall that customers of a state-owned bank, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), were able to benefit from for a few hours.

Over the past weekend, the CBE's computer systems were victims of a very surprising bug for a banking establishment. Its effect was discreet, for those who only make withdrawals within the limits of the funds available in their account.

The Commercial Ethiopian Bank mistakenly invents the account with unlimited money… over a weekend

However, some customers quickly realized by accident that the bank's systems were no longer blocking any transactions. Including in the event of a withdrawal far exceeding the available amount. Through word of mouth and social networks, news of the bug spread quickly. Thus, until the bug was discovered by the CBE, more than 40 million dollars could have been unduly withdrawn.

The very serious bug also made it possible to transfer sums greater than the available amount to other banking establishments. It's a bit as if all CBE customer accounts enjoyed 'unlimited money'. Once the bug was discovered, the CBE decided to suspend transactions and ask customers to return the amounts thus obtained.

What the bank has made through the voice of its president, Abie Sano – but also via universities, which also sent the message on Monday to their students. The president of the CBE specifies that customers who return the sums obtained via this bug will not be subject to prosecution. As of this writing, the CBE systems are largely operational again.

Which covers withdrawals from ATMs. According to the bank, the problem is not linked to a cyberattack. The bank also emphasizes in a press release that the bug “is not an incident likely to endanger the bank, its customers and the financial system altogether. integer”.

In total, more than 25,000 illegal transactions may have been carried out during the bug. The amounts actually withdrawn by customers thanks to this incident remain modest seen from here – around $1,600 on average. That’s almost 8 months of local average salary. The average living costs for a single person in the country are around $669 per month (Skuad figures, 2024), an amount almost three times higher than the average salary.

  • The Commercial Ethiopian Bank (CBE) was the victim over the past weekend of a surprising bug allowing customers to withdraw or transfer an unlimited quantity of money, regardless of the amounts available in their account.
  • In total, more than 40 million dollars disappeared from the bank's books.
  • Customers who return the amounts will not be subject to prosecution, warns the establishment.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116