Banks and Web security



George Ou has a good post on Banks cheating their way to meet web security guidelines. Many of the observations that he notes come from the Between the Lines column here and are SPOT ON. The biggest I see is related to “multifactor authentication”….


For instance…

On page 3, the Federal guidelines go so far as to list the three factors of security:

Something the user knows (e.g., password, PIN);

Something the user has (e.g., ATM card, smart card) and ;

Something the user is (e.g., biometric characteristic, such as a fingerprint).

Currently MOST approaches that I’ve seen put into practice have a tendency to ask you for 2 or 3 items of something the user knows. This, of course, can easily be compromised.

I remember when online credit card transactions first started, the card number and expiration were pretty much all that was required to be input (plus the billing address). Then they started requiring the CVV2 numbers. Well – ok – so I should ONLY know that if I have the card, but what if the database is compromised of the company that just asked for my CVV2 number???? Are we going to need a third and fourth and further pins and bits of knowledge to be able to properly authenticate online.

I’ve read of some institutions use of some sort of smart card as an authentication factor and would REALLY like to see banks/card authorizations move towards taking at least that factor into account. George mentions that he’s not particularly fond of the biometric factor being pushed and I can agree on that – who wants to encourage theives to branch out into taking the thumb of a victim. (Or taking the victim hostage)… Biometrics I think could easily qualify as “something the user HAS” rather than something the user IS.

The point he gets at is this….

True strong authentication is a smartcard or some other forms of cryptographic tokens. Just the plain old ATM card or credit card does not qualify as strong authentication.

It makes me think in a way of the historical practice of signing letters with a seal. Wax would be dripped to seal the envelope and then the signet ring would be pressed in to leave a mark and it was a unique mark which, at that time would have given someone relative certainty as to the source. (The signets were supposedly unique to the wearer.) Of course, in the world of today, that could be easily forged (and likely was then).

But….. what IF we could go and get a smartcard that had a randomly generated keycode that was unique to us. Then that, as a third party card, could be used via a handshake of some sort with hardware could generate a key that ONLY that keycode could have made. (Much the way ssh encryption is built) All of it done without divulging the secret keycode…. Then if you have to prove your identity present your codecard (or whatever form this takes.) Of course, our computers would need a common and widely compatible way of using this authentication (which may be the hard part in getting widespread implementation.)

Related Posts

Blog Traffic Exchange Related Posts
  • Apple Security Update 13 Seperate vulnerabilities are addressed by the latest Apple security updates. 9 vulnerabilites exist in network facing services like the web server, a couple in the web browser, another couple in SSL (secure socket layer) handling. In other words, get updating. I haven't used the Apple OS much in a......
  • Remove Total Security 2009 | TotalSecurity 2009 Removal Total Security 2009 is also known as TotalSecurity 2009 or TotalSecurity2009. It is a newer version of the Total Security Antivirus which we highlighted just a week or so ago. It is a more troublesome variant of this rogue security software. In addition to the false warnings about problems on......
  • How to Remove Windows Smart Security (Removal Guide) Windows Smart Security is a rogue spyware application that may fool people into installing and purchasing due to the use of the words Windows and Security in the title. It may fool people into thinking that it is related to Microsoft Windows and perhaps even a part of the operating......
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites
  • Factors to Consider When Consolidating Debt At the office the other day a colleague asked me to analyze his refinance decision and while we getting deep into the calculations (taking into account taxes, remaining interest, etc.) I started to think about things to consider when deciding to consolidate one’s debt.  I don’t think refinancing one’s main......
  • Guide to Buying and Selling Antiques If you're looking for something unique to adorn the rooms of your home, then a hobby that you may want to delve into is buying and selling antiques. There are a couple of different things that you are going to need to consider when it comes to buying and selling......
  • Credit Card due date redux Got my latest bill for the card I use regularly. It came on Monday, Nov 26 and is due on Monday, Dec 3. First, during this time of year I don't know if the six days (I could only get a check out next day, as I get my mail......
PDF24    Send article as PDF   

Similar Posts


See what happened this day in history from either BBC Wikipedia
Search:
Keywords:
Amazon Logo

Comments are closed.


Switch to our mobile site