Little Rock, Arkansas – Third American Bank and Trust of Arkansas announced that the company had released one million customer account numbers and passwords in a preemptive move against attacking hackers.
The bank had noticed suspicious activity on its internal network on Saturday, and determined that hackers had breached their outer layer of security. Fearing hackers would penetrate the bank's final layers of security, head of account security, Tom Dankman, ordered all customer accounts and passwords made public.
"It was inevitable that the hackers would gain access. It was just a matter of time," said Dankman. "By releasing our customers' private information out into the wild, we decrease the value of the information to the hackers tremendously. As a result the hackers stopped their attacks on our system almost immediately."
Security experts doubt that other banks will use this strategy to stop hackers. Laura Sizemore of Interbank Consulting and Security said, "This method is a first for me. We've seen banks pull the plug on their computers, and even put all their customers' cash into sub-prime mortgages to stop hackers, but never this."
Customers of the bank were confused by the move. "So you're saying that the bank just gave everyone our account numbers and passwords? That's brilliant. At least I had half of my money at Fourth American Bank and Trust," said Ted Barker of Little Rock.
Officials at Fourth American Bank and Trust of Arkansas said they too were targeted by hackers, but didn't do anything as dumb as giving out private customer data. "We just zeroed out everyone's balance," said Homer Strickland, Security Chief and janitor.
"Great," said Barker.
Both Third and Fourth bank's stock were down on the news.