All entries for Thursday 16 March 2006

March 16, 2006

Alliance & Leicester online banking

Follow-up to Is one password enough with Single Sign On? from Kieran's blog

Interestingly, just after writing about different levels of security, my bank has gone and changed their online banking system.

Alliance & Leicester online banking demos

They have put in two new measures.

1) The first measure is to be a bit more sure that you are who you say you are when logging in. The first time you register, the take a look at what they call "Your computer characteristics" (basically probably your IP address and browser agent). They then use this to let you in with just a customer number and PIN from known computers, but ask you something else like your mother maiden name or place of birth as another security question before letting you in.

2) The second measure is to let the customer know for sure what site they are logging into. This is for people who fall for the fake bank emails they get. Basically, the first time you register you are shown a random, but distinctive image and are asked to enter a phrase as well. These are then show to you after you enter your customer id but before you enter your PIN. The idea being that if you login and don't recognise your own image and passphrase, then don't enter your final PIN as you might be on a fake site. To be honest I'm not sure how much this is going to help as the kind of people who fall for these fake emails and sites are probably also fooled by something like just saying. "Your previous image has no expired, please pick a new image and pass phrase." Oh well.


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