Major payments service taken offline

Online credit and debit card payments service Protx, the largest independent payment service in the UK, experienced a major downtime incident yesterday which prevented many of its retail customers from processing valuable transactions.

Protx said the disruption to the service occurred following a systems upgrade. According to Protx the service was back online by 1430 BST, but many customers experienced problems throughout the rest of the day, the BBC reports.

One customer,, said it had lost orders amounting to around £2500, not including potential loss of future business. “We’re a small family firm, and this is really hurting,” said Jamie Chapman of

Protx, which handles credit and debit card payments for more than 10,000 retailers, apologised for the poor service.

According to distributed denial of service (DDoS) prevention service Prolexic, payments service providers are among the chief targets of DDoS attacks, which are becoming an increasingly prevalent form of industrial sabotage among online competitors.

Victims of such attacks frequently claim, however, that an upgrade problem is to blame for the degraded service, says Prolexic.  

Information Age analysis: Cyber assault 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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