Was there a cyber attack at American Express? Worldwide service outage on April 1, 2022

Sicherheit (Pexels, allgemeine Nutzung)[German]Here's a quick information about an information a reader has send me in a private Facebook message. American Express seems to be having service issues since April 1, 2022 – a 2FA login doesn't really work, transactions get stuck. And there's a suspicion that it's related to a cyber attack. It seems clear, at least, that there was a major, worldwide, technical outage on Friday that lasted until today.


A reader's note

German blog reader Martin alerted me Friday (4/1/2022,) in a personal message about issues with credit card provider American Express. He wrote:

Hi, American Express must be having a cyber attack. Maybe you can get more info. At the moment, at least online, almost nothing is accessible. After the 2FA you can't get any further. Payments online also do not go, offline probably already. In a FB group is also already diligently discussed.

I have no access to the Facebook group, because it is private and I am not (yet) activated. But there is a screenshot, which I publish here. It says, that there not personal data available for the logged in person.

American Express Problem

In the screenshot above, the American Express app can be seen and the user is logged in. However, no more account data is displayed to him. Another user posted a notice of a cyber attack in a private Facebook group and wrote: Hello all, I just phoned Amercian Express. They [support operator] sayed it's an cyber attack – so nearly nothing works.

American Express outage (April 1, 2022)


There are reports on Twitter

On Twitter, too, I quickly found messages from users complaining about disruptions that lasted for hours. .

American Express outage (April 1, 2022)

And a hacker attack is not ruled out in this tweet  either. Since American Express has discontinued its business in Russia, a cyberattack would not be entirely inconceivable.

American Express outage (April 1, 2022)

On the American Express Twitter channel, the company has at least admitted to a major glitch that occurred on April 1, 2022.

American Express outage (April 1, 2022)

Problems with the web services and the mobile app are admitted. I have not found an explanation for the disruption.

Downdetector and other reports

I just queried the downdetector and got a fat disruption for Amercian Express, which only subsided by early morning.

American Express outage (April 1, 2022)

This articles from Bleeping Computer confirms the observations above – there was a worldwide outage. The root cause is unknown to me so far. Does anyone there know more about the cause?

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