Microsoft reveals measures to improve online banking security

15 June 2005
A Microsoft researcher has revealed several measures to make online banking more secure.

Addressing a presentation at Stanford University, security software engineer Dave Steeves outlined how a display and a set of buttons added to a smartcard reader or security token could provide an added layer of security for online transactions.

The method would work by displaying the details of the transaction a user was carrying out on their bank's website next to the smartcard reader or USB token. The user could then approve or reject the transaction by pressing the appropriate button.

"Users are working on the internet and banking insecurely, except when they have to approve a transaction, they reach and hit accept on the trusted device," Mr Steeves said, according to CNet

Mr Steeves described the smartcard reader or token as a "trusted device" which could help provide an extra security buffer for online banking transactions.

The Microsoft researcher also revealed an alternative security method, under which online banking users would enter a specially-generated code into a box on the website in order to approve a transaction.

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