Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Human error puts online banking security at risk

08.11.2007
Using an SMS password as an added security measure for internet banking is no guarantee your money is safe, according to a new Queensland University of Technology study which reveals online customers are not protecting their accounts.

Mohammed AlZomai, from QUT's Information Security Institute, said one in five online transactions was vulnerable to obvious attacks despite added security methods such as SMS passwords being adopted.

Mr AlZomai said the study had found that the security threat had more to do with the usability of the SMS system and human error, rather than any technical security problem.

"In response to the growing threat to online banking security, most banks have implemented special methods for authenticating a transaction," he said.

"A typical method is sending a one-time-password via SMS to the customer's mobile phone for each transaction.

"This means the customer must manually copy the password from their phone in order to confirm the online transaction."

But Mr AlZomai said customers were failing to notice when the bank account number in the SMS message was not the same as the intended account number.

He said if this occurred it was a clear sign hackers had infiltrated the system.

As part of the study, QUT developed a simulated online bank and asked participants to play the role of customers and undertake a number of financial transactions using an SMS authorisation code.

Mr AlZomai said he then simulated two types of attacks - an obvious attack which was where five or more digits in the account number were altered, and a stealthy attack which was where only one digit was changed.

"It is worrisome that obvious attacks were successful in 21 per cent of cases," he said.

"And when transactions faced a stealthy attack, 61 per cent of attacks were successful."

He said this study showed that a significant number of users were unable to identify the attack.

"This is a strong indication that the SMS transaction authorisation method is vulnerable," he said.

"According to our study only 79 per cent of users would be able to avoid realistic attacks, which represents an inadequate level of security for online banking."

Mr AlZomai said while this study highlighted the importance for customers to be vigilant when they were banking online, banks also had a responsibility to their customers.

"We hope this research will allow online banks and other online service providers to be better prepared for these emerging risks."

Sandra Hutchinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qut.edu.au

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation
22.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>