April 4, 2013 – At this time, Dotcom-Monitor is tracking a Wells Fargo downtime issue based on consistent failure-to-connect to host issues that began at approximately April 4, 12 PM CST. Dotcom-Monitor has been tracking a history of recent banking website outages and has provided analysis of banking outages for the financial industry for issues involving recent PNC bank outages, U.S. Bancorp outages, and previous Wells Fargo outages. A set of tools to test banking websites outages from worldwide locations are provided at no-cost for financial industry network administrators and website administrators here.

Online Banking Outage: Wells Fargo down, suspected DDoS attacks on banks continue

In analyzing the issue, intermittent Wells Fargo website performance issues and long connection times were detected prior to the 12 noon downtime conditions. Note the 66.42 second connection time from the Amsterdam monitoring agent which occurred at 10:10 AM CST, in the graph below:

Wells Fargo down April 4

A variety of news organizations, including AZcentral, have reported that Wells Fargo spokespersons are indicating the Wells Fargo down time is due to a DDoS attack. This Wells Fargo downtime issue comes directly on the heals of an April 3rd, 2013 NBC news story on banking outages where senior federal law makers discussed the need for a more robust national response to protecting US banks against persistent banking denial of service attacks.

Monitoring continued to show that the Wells Fargo downtime consisted of two blocks of consistent Wells Fargo downtime totaling approximately 3+ hours. The two blocks of Wells Fargo downtime consist of an initial downtime after 12 noon from approximately 12:25 PM to 1:33 PM CST (1 hour, 8 minutes) and a second period of consistent downtime commencing from worldwide locations commencing at at approximately 2:39 PM CST to 4:45 PM CST (2 hours, 5 minutes). Again, prior to the Wells Fargo downtime blocks a period of destabilized performance was detected as early as 10:10 AM CST. Following the two blocks of Wells Fargo downtime the website shows signs of stabilizing at approximately 4:19 PM.

However, while not down the Wells Fargo website is struggling with significant Wells Fargo slow response times for the hour after stabilization beginning at 4:19 PM CST. Notably, while connections to the Wells Fargo website could be made consistently after 4:19 PM CST, the connections themselves were very slow and connection speed to Wellsfargo.com varied considerably by region. Note the 61-second connection time from Amazon-East (61,615 milliseconds) monitoring location followed by a 35-second connection time from the Colorado monitoring location (including details of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connect time of 9-seconds etc…)

Wells Fargo slow connections April 4
click to enlarge

Dotcom-Monitor will continue to track the banking website outages and provide analysis on banking outage best practices based on working with financial organizations facing challenges to banking website user experience.

A set of tools to test banking websites from worldwide locations are provided at no-cost for financial industry network administrators and website administrators here.

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