It is not known what form of malware has impacted Travelex. Ransomware is a potential candidate, as when this form of malicious code infects a system, rapid isolation is often critical to prevent the widespread encryption of files on corporate networks.
The decision to temporarily suspend online services has not only affected Travelex's core business, but also other companies that rely on the firm to provide currency exchange services.
These include Tesco Bank, the financial branch of the major UK supermarket. A screenshot posted to Twitter, dated January 2, informed customers that "planned maintenance" made foreign currency purchasing services "temporarily unavailable."
However, when queried, Tesco said "IT issues" at Travelex -- rather than maintenance -- were the root cause. Now, the domain displays the message, "We're sorry that we can't offer online ordering for Travel Money at this time."
Customers must visit in-branch to order or collect their currency.
Other currency services, including Virgin Money Travel and HSBC, however, are still displaying the "planned maintenance" message.