Viewpoint: 2-Way Authentication Needed for Safety

By Klein, Andrea | American Banker, August 3, 2007 | Go to article overview

Viewpoint: 2-Way Authentication Needed for Safety


Klein, Andrea, American Banker


Consumers who do not feel safe online are increasingly steering clear of Internet banking sites and shutting out an important channel for financial services providers to expand their customer relationships.

The industry research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that almost nine million adults in the United States have stopped banking online and that another 23.7 million decline to start out of security concerns.

The continual spread of online scams - and the reality that people are increasingly wary of online banking channels - raise the stakes for banks to protect customers and themselves from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

In the past year, customers at several of the world's largest banks have fallen victim to "man-in-the-middle," or MITM, identity theft schemes that have shaken customer confidence in online banking and battered bank reputations. As the term implies, identity thieves position themselves "in the middle" of sensitive communications between customers and banks in order to steal account and other personal information.

In one MITM scheme last summer involving a large U.S. banking company, the thieves sent seemingly authentic e-mails asking customers to verify their account information. The e-mails directed customers to a spoofed bank Web site that seemed legitimate but actually redirected the customers to a fake Web site set up by a hacker in Russia.

In redirecting customers to the spoof site (also known as "pharming") the hacker was positioned to intercept user password/account information and potentially to use the records in fraudulent transactions or as goods for sale to other criminals. Criminals also use MITM Web sites to read, insert, and change messages between the bank and its customers.

These attacks spotlight the shortcomings of secure socket layer protocol and multifactor authentication security measures that many financial institutions have adopted. These security measures are limited because they only require that the bank and customer trust one another and do not provide the added assurances required to thwart MITM or related schemes.

Two-factor authentication also comes up short in shielding banks and their customers from MITM attacks. The two-factor authentication model uses an online password and an additional form of authentication (such as an access card) for online security. This approach authenticates users but does not enable them to confirm that they are communicating with legitimate online sites.

For example, fraudsters can create pharming sites that present their own credentials for encrypted sessions to fool users (and their PC/client-based computer security systems) into thinking they are connected to legitimate sites. The users then enter password and personal information that is intercepted on the pharming site.

Other narrow security safeguards - such as images that each user selects as a unique identifier when logging in - are ineffective against MITM. Online banks use a Web browser cookie (which serves as a small software identification tag) downloaded on a user's computer to match the user and the appropriate image. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Viewpoint: 2-Way Authentication Needed for Safety
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.