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Banks Urge Businesses To Lock Down Online Banking 201

Posted by kdawson
from the no-social-no-engineering dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "Organized cyber-gangs in Eastern Europe are increasingly preying on small and mid-size companies in the US, setting off a multimillion-dollar online crime wave that has begun to worry the nation's largest financial institutions, The Washington Post's Security Fix blog reports: '"In the past six months, financial institutions, security companies, the media and law enforcement agencies are all reporting a significant increase in funds transfer fraud involving the exploitation of valid banking credentials belonging to small and medium sized businesses," reads a confidential alert issued by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an industry group created to share data about critical threats to the financial sector.' The banking group is urging that commercial bank customers 'carry out all online banking activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer from which e-mail and Web browsing is not possible.' The story includes interviews with several victim businesses, and explains that in each case, the fraudsters — thought to reside in Eastern Europe — are using "'money mules,' unwitting or willing accomplices in the US hired via Internet job boards. The blog has more stories and details about these crimes."
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Banks Urge Businesses To Lock Down Online Banking

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  • by sicapo (622621) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:22PM (#29195021)
    'carry out all online banking activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer from which e-mail and Web browsing is not possible. When almost all online banking is done through Web Sites...
    • By locking down everything *but* that site?

      Emphasis web *browsing* - if you're locked to a subset of one site, you can't do a whole lot of browsing. The browser effectively turns into a sandboxed application, which is what the banks here want.

      English is a wonderful language.

      • by xeoron (639412)
        Maybe the banks should release browser extensions that turn on bank lock down mode via the press of a button. Or, people can merely run a locked down VM instance of a OS/browser combo that is solely used for banking; going ever further, someone should package a slim VM just for that purpose and share it with all to use (maybe a version of gOS with Google Chrome or freeBSD with Firefox, or use that Kiosk SuSE linux builder app....). Hrm... think I might have to play with those things this weekend....
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by eric31415927 (861917)

          My dream:

          A bank could dole out thumb drives to its customers, which thumb drives could boot up into an O/S [hopefully not within a VM] that only allows Internet access to the bank's website. Passwords could change every minute with use of a RSA key chain (eTrade facilitates minute-by-minute password changing).

          It would be nice if the thumb drives were read only; perhaps some sort of dongle might work.

          This would make me feel more secure in my online bank transactions.

          • by Shakrai (717556)

            This would make me feel more secure in my online bank transactions.

            Or you could just secure your computer and put the tin-foil hat away. Just an idea. I've been using online banking in one form or another for 12 years from my regular old PC and I've yet to encounter a problem. Of course I don't generally agree to install the "ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE UPDATE ACTIVEX APPLICATION V 6.5.19.1.61" that pops up while I'm surfing for porn or warez ;)

        • by jimicus (737525)

          If the computer being used is compromised, it follows you can't trust anything on it. You certainly can't trust that "lock down mode" is as locked down as you'd like.

      • by Jurily (900488) <[jurily] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @10:20PM (#29195897)

        The browser effectively turns into a sandboxed application, which is what the banks here want.

        Why not just make a separate application? You're trying to force a browser to be essentially different than what it was designed to be, and then you're complaining that it's not really working.

        I know cross-platform availability is great, but you can also do that with say Qt. Not to mention you'd have your own nicely designed UI instead of the clunky pile of shit most banks today do, without inheriting the security problems of every fucking browser out there. One would think that because this is an absolutely critical task in terms of security, banks would at least try to minimize the amount of code involved, or at least the amount of code they have no fucking control over whatsoever.

        I know Web 2.0 is hyped right now, but stop acting like the browser is the only application capable of establishing a network connection. As a famous cat put it: THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by muckracer (1204794)

        > The browser effectively turns into a sandboxed application, which is what
        > the banks here want.

        Regardless of the wishes of those greedy fucks, a browser and each site should
        be sand-boxed in the first place. Viewing one site should have no relevance to
        the tab beside it, even less for your user files and most certainly not your
        system files.

    • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@@@jwsmythe...com> on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:51PM (#29195227) Homepage Journal

          Ya, I caught that too. Get on a computer that can't browse to web sites, and then browse to http://mybank.example.com/ [example.com] . Brilliant advice.

          Since 99.99[ad nauseum]% of the users wouldn't know a hardened secure computer (I'm pretty sure Windows is categorically eliminated), I'm not sure who they were suggesting that to. I have the only Linux virus I've ever seen, and it's safely tucked away on a floppy disk, in a concrete vault, underground, at a location that I forgot. :) Dammit, I knew I shouldn't have left the map in the vault. Most "bank customers" wouldn't keep a dedicated machine just to check their bank balance with. Hell, they'll call out on the company PBX and give their credit card information over the phone to any arbitrary business, with coworkers happily writing it down and the phone admin recording the call.

          Users are their own worst enemy. Hmm, wasn't there a story today saying something to that effect? I once found a bank card (w/ Visa logo) on top of an ATM. For some reason, they set it down and forgot it there. Brilliant. Since there was no one around to claim it, I called the bank. It took me an hour to convince them that I found it and that the card should be canceled. They "couldn't release any information on the card holder until...." I told them, "I'm holding the card in my hand. I guess that makes me the card holder." Finally, they told me "Oh, just bring it to a branch on Monday", at which point they finally canceled it. I knew the people at the branch, so they knew I was legitimate, and they confirmed that it hadn't been canceled. The account hadn't even been noted that I called in to report it. What if I wasn't a nice guy? I would have had 2 days or more to charge anything I wanted. If you can't get a person to maintain control over a little physical piece of plastic, why should you they think that they're going to do any better elsewhere?

      • by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @10:08PM (#29195805)

        Ya, I caught that too. Get on a computer that can't browse to web sites, and then browse to http://mybank.example.com/ [example.com] . Brilliant advice.

        Microsoft is urging it's customers to 'carry out all computing activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer which is not plugged into any electrical outlet. Such a secure "computer" is known colloquially as the "typewriter"

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

              Dammit, my mom gave away our old mechanical typewriter. I guess I just have to stay away from Microsoft products, and I'll be fine. I'm doing pretty good with that so far. :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Falconhell (1289630)

        Users are their own worst enemy

        Quite so. I dont know where I read it but the quote below sums it up nicely.

        The average user wouldn't know a security issue if it was parading down the main street naked carrying a large sign saying "I am a security issue"

      • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @04:12AM (#29198023)

        Since 99.99[ad nauseum]% of the users wouldn't know a hardened secure computer (I'm pretty sure Windows is categorically eliminated)

        Not true, actually. You most certainly can lock down Windows fairly heavily - in fact, Microsoft provide a tool to help you do it [microsoft.com].

        Though to be perfectly honest I'd still stick the computer in it's own little /29 subnet with a firewall blocking all traffic in both directions except that which is explicitly allowed.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      While it would be both foolhardy and a gross exaggeration to say that it doesn't generally matter a whole lot about the client side, most of the time that kind of operation is just not cost effective. More cost effective is phishing or compromising the server side stuff. Dumpster diving for insecure records is also a convenient way of doing it all too often.
    • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:44PM (#29195623) Homepage Journal

      Could we at least start by replacing the freaking pin numbers with something meaningful? A four digit numeric does NOT make a password FFS!!

      Maybe next, we could graduate the bank's computers from Windows 2000 up to something remotely sane - like Redhat SEL.

      The idea of a biometric ID in conjuntion with a reasonably secure password hash has it's appeal, as well. If my bank would use it, I'd install a fingerprint reader on my HOME computer. Businesses should just jump on that idea - it's a small price to increase security dramatically.

      Finally, maybe we can get around to "Linux - the year of the desktop!" Face it, boys and fanbois - no unix-like machine is open to as many exploits as Windows is.

      I'm just dreaming, of course. If I manage to live another 20 years, we'll still be having similar discussions, PIN numbers will still be 4 digit numerics, and Windows XP will be the ancient, outdated operating system of choice for banks.

      • by berzerke (319205)

        Nice ideas, but there are flaws so big you could drive an 18 wheeler through them.

        Could we at least start by replacing the freaking pin numbers with something meaningful? A four digit numeric does NOT make a password FFS!!

        Remember the user. If we make the password/pin to big, it will be hard to remember for a major segment of the users. What happens then is it gets written down, and from my experience, more than few will just write down on the card itself. This makes everyone less secure, as thieves will

      • by grcumb (781340)

        The idea of a biometric ID in conjuntion with a reasonably secure password hash has it's appeal, as well. If my bank would use it, I'd install a fingerprint reader on my HOME computer. Businesses should just jump on that idea - it's a small price to increase security dramatically.

        Biometrics are only appealing in environments where human life has value. I can assure you that the day banks in Johannesburg or Manila start requiring fingerprints for authentication, there are going to be a lot more fingerless vi

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Fingerprint readers are much worse than passwords IMO, as you can't change them easily, and they aren't secret. A fingerprint scan from an untrusted location just tells the bank that someone has seen your fingerprints. It doesn't mean that your finger is present at the time.

        Also, there are stories of people chopping off fingers to use in applications like these.

    • by timmarhy (659436)
      it's not hard to lock down banking, it's called one time passwords/cc numbers. we pay more then enough in banking fee's that the banks can afford to issue us a FREE token that produces a unquie password that is synced with the bank's systems. it's only good for one use and must be used with a traditional 6 pin access you remmeber.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Any online banking transaction for me requires:

        *My 10-digit personal number ("personnummer" = Swedish equivalent of SSN)

        *My 4-digit PIN (assigned by bank when card is issued, not changeable by user)

        *6-digit authorisation key from bank's website, good for 4 minutes from time of issue (I have 4 minutes to enter it into the card reader)

        *My bank card

        *Card reader (fits in a shirt pocket; first one provided gratis by bank, replacement unit is SEK 100 or about US$12.00)

        *9-digit response code generated by card read

    • Old Tech. (Score:3, Informative)

      by mjwx (966435)

      'carry out all online banking activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer from which e-mail and Web browsing is not possible. When almost all online banking is done through Web Sites...

      Why bother trying to beef up local security when the best option is to take the transaction off the web. Just dial in to the bank with a good old 56K modem. It's common place with some Australian banks to have a small business's accounts department line up all transactions on a local client and then dial

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dan541 (1032000)

      It is pointless to secure a system that is to be used by idiots.

      A Default installation of XP or Vista is the most secure system in the world for an average user any security beyond that is invalidated by their stupidity. What they need are competent employees then these issues wouldn't exist.

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:27PM (#29195071)
    The article talks about the victims actually intending to sue their banks to get their money back. WTF? Since when it the bank responcible for the lax security on the customer's side?
    • by jumpingfred (244629) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:37PM (#29195149)

      It is also lax security on the banks side. The bank is not properly verifying that the transactions really come from the businesses. It is much like identity theft. The person didn't steal my identity they got around the bank or credit card companies poor security to trick the bank. They took nothing from me they tricked the bank into giving them my money.

      • I just wondered, do these businesses mostly use PIN/TAN security? Or a simple password? When I lived in the US, Citibank had a simple password protection - whereas my German bank account used (and still uses - no known successful attacks so far!) an HBCI compliant external card reader and home banking software.

        I am wondering, because I can still imagine my banking software (StarMoney) being tricked into manipulating the online orders shown to me for verification and signing, but I have heard of no incidents

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Probably depends on the strength of the bank's verification system. If I leave my front door open, and somebody walks in and steals my ID, I'm guilty of being lax. If the bank accepts my stolen ID, from a guy who looks completely different than I do, they are guilty of being lax, even though my laxness precipitated the incident.

      In the online banking case, for instance, any bank that doesn't red-flag an situation where simultaneous online sessions on the same account are going on from an IP near the custo
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AnyoneEB (574727)

      I agree that suing the banks seems like a strange reaction, but this type of attack only works because the banks simply do not care about security. On previous articles I have seen posters mention their banks (somewhere in Europe) have papers which have a list of single-use transaction codes which are used in some sort of challenge-response system. For example, choosing a code based on the transaction date, target, amount, and some randomness would protect against attacks like the one described where a comp

    • Yes, and you can bet your ignorant ass they will win too. They are responsible for it since the client can produce a contract stating exactly what has been violated. If the client honored their side of the contract, HOWEVER SHITTY THE SECURITY REQUIRED WAS, then it is the banks problem.

      This article specifically deals with COMMERCIAL banks, and identifies them as such.

      You, in your apparently myopic life bubble, specifically deal with RETAIL banks, and therefore think that is all that exists in the world,

      • by russotto (537200)

        This article specifically deals with COMMERCIAL banks, and identifies them as such.

        In the US, a regular bank which accepts deposits is called a "commercial" bank. The other type is an "investment bank"; I'm not sure if any currently exist which are not also commercial banks.

        The article concerns itself with commercial (business) CUSTOMERS, but the banks are mostly the same ones which individuals deal with.

        "Next time you dont understand something, learn about it before speaking about it."

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:32PM (#29195107) Journal
    It wouldn't be rocket surgery, or especially onerous in cost/seat terms, for major financial institutions to hack together and press a bunch of "Banking liveCDs".

    No writable persistent storage, just a browser(configured so that it will only accept pages from the institution's set of domains and only when those pages have appropriate SSL certs. Completely reject all non-SSL pages, and any SSLed pages with certs for other institutions, or from other CAs).

    There would probably be some annoying edge cases(some ghastly graphics card that isn't supported by default, and freaks out in VESA mode, say) or network issues(though you could always offer a cheap USB ethernet or wifi adapter, with a known working chipset, at cost to interested customers); but it'd be fairly easy to cover 95% of the boring business boxes and common home machines that you would be concerned about, if suitably generic settings were used.

    As hardware gets cheaper and/or for larger accounts, it might even make sense to put together a dedicated banking appliance offering, basically the cheapo embedded ARM embodiment of the above.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JWSmythe (446288)

      But, that's the type of technical support headache that they've been trying to get away from, with virtual POS terminals, using the web page instead of their custom app, etc, etc. Even if your live CD worked on every machine ever known to man, when something flakes out, they're calling the bank first. Come on, how many times have you fixed a "my computer can't get on the Internet" because they accidentally unplugged the network cable? Or maybe they didn't even turn it on. Anyone who's wor

    • I like this idea but instead of livecd, make it an encrypted bootable usb key. Then it can be updated, encrypted, signed and gnu/linux based. The password at boot? Just another pin.
    • by antic (29198)

      In the US, do you have a system where any bank transfers to a new (previously unused) external account must be approved by a time-limited PIN that is sent to you by SMS? Both banks that I use provide this by default.

      • by Spit (23158) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:31PM (#29195517)

        Scammers are getting around that by hijacking your phone number. Probably the best I've seen is using a challenge-response for all transactions, with a frob supplied by the bank.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aceticon (140883)

          I've been using such a challenge-response mechanism with my Dutch bank for several years now.

          It works together with the smart chip in your bank card:
          - At the appropriate points the bank website gives you a number that you enter in a little device where you have your bank card slotted. The device (using the smart chip in your bank card) calculates a response number which you type back in the bank website. If the numbers match you are given-access/have-pending-payments-approved.

          No passwords or any other impor

      • Navy Federal Credit Union sends the PIN in the mail to the "sending" account holder's mailbox, and it must be entered within 30 days or the request is nullified.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rho (6063)

      Sounds to me like a valid reason to run OpenBSD.

      Or maybe all those fucking banks can make Web sites that don't recommend (or require) Internet Explorer.

    • by markdavis (642305)

      Some of us don't want to have to reboot our computer just to access a bank "website". And we are to just trust that this live-whatever they make doesn't install something persistent on our computers or read data off the drives?

      And each bank or "important" site would have their own pseudo-proprietary bootable image? So I have to reboot again with something else to access my retirement funds site? Reboot again to access Paypal?

      Doesn't this sound a little impractical?

      For now, I use a carefully administered

      • I would, by no means, have this be obligatory. The bank's website would still be there, accessible from a browser under any OS you'd like.

        I merely suspect that, for the vast hordes of the clueless(or the otherwise interested: my dad was cranking out financial simulations in assembly when I was prenatal, and is far from stupid; but that doesn't help him much when it comes to the arcana of whether AV program X can detect infection Y) "Urg[ing] businesses to lock down online banking" will be a more or less
    • press a bunch of "Banking liveCDs"

      And you'll be setting up a special call center to teach people how to switch their boot drive on BRAND X PC to the CD-ROM?

      "Yes ma'am. I know it says LG-DVD. No, not the movie kind of DVDs. Yes, well, I guess it could play movies. No, ma'am, there's no movie on the CD we gave you. I know I said that, but the CD will work in a DVD player. No, ma'am, you have to use it with your computer, I mean the DVD player that's in your computer. Now press F10 and... what? No ma'am, don't select RESET. No, oh crap, now y

    • by Kaboom13 (235759)

      Sounds like a great idea, and in a sane world it could be implemented fairly easily. In reality though, the banks are looking for a cheap way to limit their own liability (See! We warned you you could be hacked in that configuration!), not put a giant SUE ME PLEASE logo on a cd and mail it out. If whatever executive's nephew, that "knows stuff about computers", and gets a fat consulting contract to develop this cd, fucks it up and it is in fact vulnerable, and it gets exploited, now they are in a positio

    • I actually had this exact idea a few years back. I went as far as fiddling with customizing Knoppix. But then I got my first laptop - no Wifi support from ANY LiveCD (at the time). Even the laptop that I'm on now won't get wireless support out of the box with Knoppix (I haven't tried any other LiveCD).

      Printer drivers (for receipts) would have been a pain too - I figured on PDFs to Flash drives for this. Never mind the huge hassle of rebooting to do a simple transaction.

      I'm all for two factor authenticat

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I used to think this is a ideal solution. Then I learned here more about BIOS. Having a key-logger installed in the BIOS could overcome this whole procedure. No, the only possible way seems to not get infected in the first place. And that, is only possible when you assume your PC ships clean.
  • Huh...funny... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Never once seen such a thing go down with Mac & Linux users. But hey, that's me.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      But the bank workers do not get a nice long lunch with the tall handsome man or curvy lady from MS if they support Linux or Macs.
      Win win MS numbers on the back of a napkin after a fine wine every body is happy for another year.
    • Nope, I am sure no woman has ever gone down on a Mac or Linux user. Oh wait, I think I misunderstood you..

  • Seriously? (Score:3, Funny)

    by marciot (598356) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:48PM (#29195211)

    Seriously? A *standalone* machine? You mean I shouldn't check my bank accounts from my kids' Windows ME computer?

    Just joking, I've already mastered the first skill of safe computer use ... not having kids, or Windows ME.

  • Of course it's not nearly as big a problem as it could be here, since no tech-savvy person, running a business or otherwise, would ever have internet banking set up with any level of access other than read-only, except perhaps for a small number of pre-approved payees.

    Ever.

  • what about this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @08:55PM (#29195249)
    say for example i own a sporting goods store in St. Louis Missouri and my bank is in the same town, dont you think the bank should reject anyone using my identity with an IP address that is in another country?

    i think the banks need to be more careful about who is logging on to their systems
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AnyoneEB (574727)
      That should definitely raise a red flag at a bank. Credit card companies definitely do that type of check. On the other hand, if your computer is already infected with malware, making the attacker proxy the connection through your computer (and use the same cookies and user agent, too, so it looks like the same user) seems like a minor hoop to jump through.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Would it be too much trouble to give customers an RSA SecurID [rsa.com], so it would be impossible for them to give their password to some third party person, without being ultimately stupid, and handing them a physical device. Real two factor authentication would be great. Something you know (a password), and something you have (RSA SecurID), should be the minimum for logging into any bank account.
        • by markdavis (642305)
          +1 insightful... mod parent up. That is the best suggestion I have seen on this entire thread.
        • the malware discussed in the blog posts linked from the summary illustrates how the crooks are defeating securID-like tokens, as well. Zeus, eg., is often seen in an attack rewriting the HTML of the bank's Web site as the victim sees it in his or her browser. In the simplest case, where the code is required at login, the attackers simply serve the victim with a maintenance page (down for maintenance, please try back in 15 min). e.g., Beware of Error Pages at Bank Web Sites [washingtonpost.com] Some banks require businesses to
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JWSmythe (446288)

      Maybe. Maybe not. You, with your sporting good store, may have suppliers in other countries. You may go to their site. You may go on a trip elsewhere. While you're out, you can trust that the interim manager can handle everything, or you can look in on your bank accounts while you're gone. I know, it's not the best idea in the world, but no one ever said business owners always follow best security practices.

      If you were locked out of the account while you were overseas, you

    • dont you think the bank should reject anyone using my identity with an IP address that is in another country?

      Scenario: Your computer is compromised with a keylogger. It's also got a proxy and other remote control features. The illicit transaction is bounced off your computer, so the bank sees it as coming from your IP address.

      Seth

    • > dont you think the bank should reject anyone using my identity with an IP
      > address that is in another country?

      No, they shouldn't. I travel often and routinely log in to do banking from
      overseas. Especially when somewhere else it'd be extremely irritating to get
      locked out just because of where you are. Banks shouldn't care where you are
      but who you are. And fortunately all authentication systems so far have been
      based on that premise.

      • It can be optional. For example, my bank has an option on limiting withdrawals from ATMs abroad to a certain sum per week. You can as well set it to zero as long as you stay home.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:03PM (#29195329)

    I guess this is what you get when you run your small business on Windows.

  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:11PM (#29195393)

    And maybe the banks can even set up some standalone, hardened, and locked-down computers in convenient locations around the city for their customers to use. Maybe they could even get money out of these computers. They could be like bank tellers, but automated.

    • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @10:42PM (#29196053)

      And maybe the banks can even set up some standalone, hardened, and locked-down computers in convenient locations around the city for their customers to use. Maybe they could even get money out of these computers. They could be like bank tellers, but automated.

      Yeah, but you know they'd screw it up somehow, like have it run Windows or have a company like Diebold to make them...

  • ...carry out all online banking activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer from which e-mail and Web browsing is not possible.

    I'm having a flashback to dumb terminal days.

    For a second I had hope that companies would be dusting off us old guys again.

  • by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:44PM (#29195627)
    The ATMs from Brazilian Bank Itau uses Windows 2000. And I not kidding. On the "blaster" virus year, I found more than one ATM with Blaster virus.
  • by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @09:44PM (#29195629)

    People who won't act civilized should sooner or later find themselves 'de-civilized'. Why are we taking an endless amount of shit from these losers?

        A few hydrogen-to-helium convertors delivered right to their door does wonders to get across the message we are not a people to be fucked with!

        If they can't police themselves and insist on ripping off systematically people in foreign countries, then send 'em some great balls of fire.

        When this shit happened fifty years ago, Khrushchev would have just sent some NKVD to scoop up these parasites, take 'em back behind the outhouse, and beat their brains inside out. And all their friends and family would get ten years in the gulag.

        I miss Nikita and Eisenhauer. (Nike and Ike) Great times. No one took any shit: no one gave anyone chickenshit like this. There were limits and those limits were respected. No one from Eastern Europe was sneaking into your bank account. Fucking peasants. Khrushchev slaughtered almost a million of his own troops to stop the Germans at Stalingrad. One phone call from the US State Department and all these sleazy little cock-sucking hackers would have been mince-meat.

        Nike and Ike had the ability to blow up the world. But, they didn't blow up the world. They came to respect life after taking part in so much slaughter and bloodletting.

        Would you trust a sleezy Ukrainian hacker with a modem to not blow up the world if he had a chance? No way. Or some smug little twisted little shit-for-brains in Estonia to behave himself. Let's face facts here; going to another country and randomly stealing people's money is an act of war! When is Putin gonna knock these guys upside the head so hard that their eyes roll out? We have real enemies now and we need to work together against them. All this cross-border chickenshit financial crime is inexcusable. It's a new world, a new century. Get a real job, stop fucking around with petty rip-offs. Assholes!

        Let's all work together to rid civilization of the shit-people!

        Another great Slashdot rant. Too bad it will get modded down to -1 by toads that don't appreciate this kind of thing.

    • by Jeremi (14640)

      Let's all work together to rid civilization of the shit-people!

      Isn't that a quote from Mein Kampf?

    • by Max_W (812974) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:43AM (#29196799)
      Your anger is misplaced. We in Ukraine hate crime even more than you do.

      Besides an image of "fucking peasants", of "sleezy Ukrainian hacker", etc. really hurts us on a global market place.

      If Microsoft included One-Care into its Windows OS, we would not have this conversation at all. But they do not do it to milk customers twice: for insecure OS and for the anti-virus, anti-spy-ware products. It is a billions and billions business. And a cultivated image of an in-existing in reality "sleezy Ukrainian hacker" fits very conveniently in this business.

      The man who sent the first human into space, Sergey Korolyov, was from Ukraine. The mathematician who helped him to calculate this flight, Ginsburg, was also from Ukraine.

      But instead we are getting a reputation of "fucking peasants" and criminals. Of course there criminals and prisons in Ukraine, the same as in your part of the world. But we are not responsible for the insecure OS and the multi-billion business based on this fear.
  • by speedtux (1307149) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @10:19PM (#29195881)

    Security for online banking in the US is awful. Transactions should require a second physical authentication token in addition to the password; most US banks have nothing.

    • Real time keyloggers can breach even this level of security.

      • Even if that were true, it would already eliminate many kinds of attacks.

        But it's actually not even true (the NYT article got it wrong--typical). In correctly implemented banking systems, such tokens aren't used for logging in, they are used for authenticating transactions, after the transactions have already been entered and confirmed.

  • by zerofoo (262795) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @10:19PM (#29195883)

    I was the network services manager for a small community bank a couple of years ago, and all of our online banking fraud was directly related to the insecurity of the online banking application - specifically SQL injection attacks.

    The application vendor's solution was to encrypt everything in the database and block known SQL injection "patterns". I told them they needed to harden their application against SQL injection; encryption and pattern matching are not enough.

    Sure enough, some Russian guys (I'm guessing by the originating IP addresses) figured out that if they opened an account with a known password, they could use SQL injection to copy the encrypted known password to an account with lots of money.

    Our work-around for the crappy vendor's "security" was implementing RSA tokens (outside of the banking app) on business accounts that could electronically move money out of the bank. Non-business accounts could only transfer money inside the bank - a large fraudulent transaction would get caught by a human before the money left the bank.

    Before anyone suggests switching vendors, consider two things:

    1. Switching banking software vendors is EXTREMELY disruptive to business. In a business where customers complain about 5 minute drive-through times, a large software migration with downtime and training is intolerable.

    2. All small to medium bank software vendors suffer from similar code quality problems. Moving to another product does not necessarily guarantee quality code.

    -ted

    • by Kaenneth (82978)

      So are the banks unwilling or unable to spend the money on quality software?

      Anyway, one of my peeves is the mysterious change from "Bank Fraud" to "Indentity Theft"... I suspect the Banks deliberatly retitled the offense to try and foist liability onto their customers...

      If Person A uses Person B's indentity to take money from a bank, and the bank did not adaquitly verify the credentials and identity... how did that become Person B's problem?

  • > The banking group is urging that commercial bank customers 'carry out all
    > online banking activity from a standalone, hardened, and locked-down computer
    > from which e-mail and Web browsing is not possible.

    My bank still has actual human tellers.

  • These banks can call for everyone else to do all kinds of drastic things. But even though practically all phishing scams should be stopped by banks enforcing their own trademarks, banks do absolutely nothing like that.

    These banks are businesses that get paid $TRILLIONS to lose everyone else's money, all the time. Of course they'll demand everyone else do a lot of hard work to protect them, while they do none but keep all the money.

  • by Max_W (812974) on Tuesday August 25, 2009 @11:57PM (#29196481)
    I am from Eastern Europe. Such crimes or such articles really hurt. Everybody gets convinced that people from Eastern Europe sooner or later will pull out a trick like that. And that image is really bad in global economy.

    Why should a malicious software be possible on a PC at all? People pay for the operating system. And they have to pay for anti-virus, for ant-spy-ware. This is the point.

    Why Windows-One-Care cannot be part of the OS? And people all over the world will sigh with a relief. Is it not done to milk billions from customers first for a monopoly insecure OS and then second time for making the OS secure.

    Very conveniently fit people from Eastern Europe of criminal persuasion in this picture. Very conveniently. But this image really hurts interests of honest hard working people from Eastern Europe on a global market scene. There are a lot of good people in Eastern Europe who brought good things into this world, say, periodical system of elements, first flight into space, etc.

    Include the Windows-One-Care in Windows and stop harassing us.
    • by sulfur (1008327)

      Why Windows-One-Care cannot be part of the OS? And people all over the world will sigh with a relief. Is it not done to milk billions from customers first for a monopoly insecure OS and then second time for making the OS secure.

      Because they can? Microsoft isn't in the business of making the world a better place; they are in the business of making money.

      A reasonably educated user doesn't need to buy antivirus software to keep their computer safe. All they need to do is to regularly apply patches. I've never used AV on my Windows computers, and got hit only once by a 0-day worm. Think of cost of purchasing AV as a convenience fee for not having to learn how to properly use your computer.

      • I've never used AV on my Windows computers, and got hit only once by a 0-day worm.

        Since one time is all it takes to drain your life's savings, that's one time too many, don't you think?

  • Linux Partition (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Merritt.kr (1120467) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:20AM (#29196653) Homepage
    This is actually a big selling point for my business: I do computer repairs, and my focus is on selling people on the idea of using Linux. One of my best points is "On Windows, you are almost gauranteed to have malware on your computer tracking you and watching you, stealing your CC, etc.. If nothing else, use Linux to just log off windows, sign on to Linux and do your banking." Not perfect security, but a heck of a lot better than when you have malware trying to get that info every time you buy off Amazon or sign in to online banking to pay a bill.
  • iTAN/iTANplus [wikipedia.org] is a very safe method to do online banking and it is widely used in Europe. Why can't American banks just implement the same solution?

  • All very well blaming "Eastern Europeans", but the idiots who think transferring cash through their personal bank account makes them a "Regional Sales Representative" must share some of the blame. These companies are being ripped off by fellow Americans who actually believe that foreign companies need their personal help to collect money due to them, and that an honest job can be that easy.

  • by fulldecent (598482) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:30AM (#29200529) Homepage

    In my dealings with TD Ameritrade, and an online brokerage starting with the letter Z (guess which one I signed an (weak) NDA with and am now regretting), and then dealing with the SEC and the FBI to clean up what I found, I can tell you this:

    Businesses with insecure workstations are not necessarily the reason why banks are getting broken it to.

    Banks are _careless_ with their online security, leaving things like token validation and referrer logging well beyond their vocabulary. After my findings, contact with the agencies shows that they prioritize things like DDOS (which affects businesses) higher than "loss" of information (which affects customers.)

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