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An attempt to beef up security has left Eurostar passengers unable to access their accounts online.

Eurostar, the international high-speed rail operator, is emailing its users this week and forcing them to reset their account passwords in order to upgrade the carrier’s security posture.

However, users who avail of the “reset password” link find themselves running into technical problems, according to a report by BleepingComputer. In fact, the online computer news site was able to verify directly this snafu, as they had themselves also received the password reset request email that Eurostar sent out on 13 February.

A customer service effort that backfired

BleepingComputer posted a screenshot of the email they received. “We’ve been busy upgrading our security to protect your account and your personal details”, the email reads. “To continue using your Eurostar account, you’ll need to reset your password”. The email continues: “If you also use the Eurostar mobile app, you’ll need to update it to the latest version”.

However, when users navigate to the password reset page and follow the instructions, nothing happens, BleepingComputer found. Instead, they saw that users were greeted with the following error message: “Sorry, we’re having a few technical problems so we can’t send the email at the moment. Please try again a little later.”

The prompt to change your password is persistent. This exacerbates the problem further, explains BleepingComputer. “Every successful log in attempt, users are presented with the password reset interstitial that won’t let them access their account until a password reset is performed”, they write. “However, the password reset never takes place due to the aforementioned technical error”.

Heightened terror concerns?

Eurostar is primarily famous for connecting the United Kingdom to European destinations such as France, Belgium, and Netherlands. Most of its trains cross through the undersea Channel Tunnel. From its inception, the fact that Eurostar relies on a significant traverse of an undersea tunnel has raised concerns about its becoming an attractive target for terrorism.

Given the UK’s prominent role in supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, however, fears may also be circulating about the train line being targeted by other forces. Indeed, Eurostar is a major transport service used to bring Ukrainian refugees to the United Kingdom.

It is understandable, then, that the rail operator would want to maintain the highest levels of security. What is not apparent, however, is why such a thing as a simple password reset would fail.