Feeds

MasterCard's Maestro struggles to cope with Xmas

As website wobbles too

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The MasterCard website struggled to cope with Christmas shopping demand that left it unreachable for nearly five hours in the run-up to Christmas. More seriously MasterCard's Maestro system also experienced glitches in the immediate run-up to Xmas. The extent of the problem with the debit card system remains unclear.

According to a survey by Swedish-based uptime monitoring service firm Pingdom the Mastercard site experienced more downtime than its competitors. Pingdom monitored the availability of the websites of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and Maestro. If a surveyed website did not respond within 30 seconds, or responded with an error, it was considered to be down. Monitoring was carried out from multiple locations in the US and Europe.

All the monitored websites showed good availability with the exception of MasterCard’s (www.mastercard.com), which has been unavailable for a total of four hours and 54 minutes between 9 November and 20 December. On several occasions the MasterCard website was unavailable during multiple short periods spread over the day.

The Maestro website belongs to MasterCard as well, but displayed no downtime during the surveyed period.

Just like bank websites, credit card websites ought to be reliable and accessible at all times because these websites are an important source of information for card holders, providing information on how to report stolen cards, for example.

Problems with other aspects of MasterCard's payment system also surfaced in the run up to Christmas. Reg reader Tony was told by Yorkshire Bank that the Maestro payment system was down on Friday morning (21 December). He discovered the issue after attempting to pay a bill by phone using a MasterCard Maestro debit card issued by Yorkshire Bank.

Our repeated attempts to speak to someone familiar with the situation at MasterCard proved frustrating. At first representatives suggested nothing was amiss before telling us late on Friday that a support line had been set up. We were referred to an internal MasterCard spokeswoman who, as it turns out, was on holiday and unbriefed about the situation when we spoke to her on Monday (Christmas Eve). She, in turn, referred us to MasterCard's European Centre of operations. Nobody there was available to speak to us there either.

So the extent of problems with the Maestro system in the immediate run-up to Christmas remain unclear.

If you experienced problems with Mastro in the week before Xmas then drop us a line. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.