Performancing Metrics

Monday, March 22, 2010

Failure on the Banking Front

     Well, it seems that I am not as paranoid as everyone else treats me.  I have long been a detractor of the concept of online banking, being of the personal opinion that some things are just too sensitive to be transmitted over the internet.  Looks like I might have been right.
     On of the big buzzes floating around the internet security forums and blogs today(see Dancho Danchev's interview), is that the standard two-factor authentication is a false security, and not nearly as effective as the banks would have you think.  What worries me even more is that when I scrutinized my bank, I found that they didn't even run two-factor authentication, but just single.  (If you would like to see what two-factor authentication is about, check here at the wikipedia.)  Also there seems to be more information that Anti-virus' are becoming less effective with the older style black-list identification.  These lists of files that are known virus are now getting fooled and virus' are identifying themselves as different files, when in fact they contain the same threats they always did.
     Once again, I can not stress enough the need for safe internet surfing practices.  If it seems phishy, don't click it!  Know the sites you are going to, or at least find some method to verify that they are clean.  And please, for the love of your computer, don't use a P2P networking client unless you really know what you are doing.  Talk to your tech support person and see about implementing a sand-box environment(Kaspersky Internet Security comes with one of these pre-installed, we'll discuss this with a later blog post), and always make sure that your computer has the latest security updates from your software vendors.
     And finally, there should be some public outcry.  The large business and ISP's that could be monitoring themselves and preventing some of the worst of this should hire on personnel that are trained in corporate level detection of malware and virus activity, so that they can tell if your computer, or even their own, are infected by something malignant.  Put in the good word for these people.  Contact your internet service provider and ask them what they are doing to protect themselves and to protect you.  And if you don't feel that they are doing enough, complain, let your voice be heard.  Maybe together we can do something to help prevent the crime wave that seems to be flooding over this vast new frontier of the internet.