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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Friday, August 11, 2006

I was interested to read the BBC article highlighting the concerns of Professor Antonia Jones and her team at Cardiff University regarding the security of the HSBC Online Banking Web Site, particularly in light of my earlier blog entry.

It seems that Professor Jones believes that there are serious flaws in the way that HSBC's online customers access the bank's web facilities. These seem to centre around key logging (the recording of key strokes by either hardware or software tools). The problem with key logging is that the keystrokes are captured before they are encrypted as part of the secure connection between the user's web browser and the bank's web site. This means that user names and passwords are easily captured and can be relayed to the perpetrator.

Personally, I no longer use third party computers (except those where we are responsible for their security) to conduct any confidential transactions. The risks are simply too great and I would certainly not recommend anyone else doing so either.

According to the BBC, the bank says that the "problem does not pose a serious threat to its customers", although the Cardiff researchers suggest that anyone exploiting the flaw would gain access to an account within nine attempts.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:07:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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