The Day an IRA Bomb Took Out the Data Center of a Major Japanese Bank and the Turmoil That Followed

At about 19:00 on 9th February 1986 the Irish Republican Army detonated a half-ton bomb contained in a small lorry in the Canary Wharf (Docklands) area of London.

Due to a telephoned warning, nearby buildings and the road were evacuated. However, two men working in the newsagents shop directly opposite the explosion had not been evacuated in time and were killed. 39 people required hospital treatment due to blast injuries and falling glass.

Approximately £85 million worth of damage was done by the blast. This bomb represented the end to the IRA cease-fire during the Northern Ireland peace process at the time.

Why am I posting this story? Well I was working in IT for a major Japanese Bank Investment Bank at the time and its data center was completely destroyed by the explosion.

The bank had a disaster recovery system situated about 25 miles away but it was in no state of readiness to accommodate this situation.

The bank had to stop trading, apart from emergency transactions, while the disaster recovery computer system was restored with the latest available data.

It took the back office staff six weeks, many of whom (directors included) slept on the office floor, to unravel all the confusion caused by failed transactions, missed interest payments and reconciliation problems.

Needless to say, this cost the bank many millions of pounds.

Don’t let yourselves get in the same situation as you never know when you can lose your data.

Contact the experts in data backup and restore, disaster recovery and remote outsourcing before it is too late.