Friday, April 23, 2010

Havens are a hacker's heaven

Are offshore banks vulnerable to hackers and, if so, should their clients be worried? Yes and yes, according to Andrew Hay, a security professional who has worked in secrecy jurisdictions and now claims that offshore banks don't provide their clients with anything like the level of security that they might be expecting.

In an article in Technology Review, Hay is cited raising concerns about a range of security issues, including out-of-date firewall systems, expired system support contracts, out-of-date hardware, shortage of local expertise and barriers to expatriate experts, as reasons why some bank branches on small island secrecy jurisdictions lag on client security. And the hackers are well aware of these deficiencies:

"Hay said that these banks are also being targeted by a wide variety of common attacks, including phishing and website defacement. In some cases, they're also vulnerable to older attacks that wouldn't work on up-to-date infrastructure."

Based on Hay's conclusions, Technology Review reckons that while "There hasn't yet been a high-profile data breach to get the attention of offshore banks . . . it's only a matter of time."

Far be it for us to draw attention to the security deficiencies of offshore banks, but considering the fees they charge, which are way North of exorbitant, the least they should do is maintain the defences.


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