Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Is Your Money Safe?

The possibility of your internet banking account being “hacked” seems to be one of the main reasons put forward for not using internet banking. Just how easy that would be depends though in a large part on how you use the account.

A worse problem in that you have no control of it is where the internet banking web site hasn’t been tested properly and contains errors that remove your control over what happens to your money. One such possibility is where the site doesn’t test for duplicate transactions where a minor hiccup in processing a transaction could result in their site duplicating the transaction and paying someone twice what you intended. The internet is not stable enough to rule out having the same transaction appear to have been submitted twice and so any server side script processing a form needs to test for duplicates – and on a banking site such a test is even more critical. Unfortunately the time you will find out that your financial institution’s web site hasn’t included this basic validation is when you make a (probably large) payment which they then proceed to double without your permission. While you will likely eventually get the money back that doesn’t help much if it leaves you short of money in the meantime.

Is Your Money Safe?

ps. I recommend that anyone banking with the Bankstown City Credit Union stop using their web site as this is only one of several bugs that I discovered on their site before I requested that they block my account from being accessed via the internet.

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