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Re: SMS Banking
From: "Menerick, John" <jmenerick () netsuite com>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 09:33:11 -0800

Comments inline

On Feb 4, 2010, at 8:20 AM, M.D.Mufambisi wrote:

Hi All,

Im designing an SMS baking application but i need to research on the
security risks involved first. Im thinking of subscribing mobile phone
number along with a pin. eg Number 222-222-222 PIN 20029. So when the
individual wants to enquire his balance, he sends a text messgae like
Bal 20029 i.e. BAL PINNUMBER. The control here is that the sms and pin
has to come from the subscribed number and only that number. I also
want to be able to allow subscribers to tranfer funds to pre
determined service providers such as utility companies etc.
What are the risks around this application?

Large risks.  Take your basic one form of authentication modeled risk but multiply it greatly due to the gravity of the 
information behind said SMS auth. Previous email from Craig Wright is a great start.

How are such applications
normally subverted?

Everything from GSM cracking, to fuzzing via sms gateways/email providers.

Are there any case studies someone can point me

Once you ignore the pages of using SMS for 2FA, http://www.google.com/search?&q=SMS+authentication should give you a 
few pointers and case studies

What are the various authentication methods as i appreciate mine
can not be the best?

Homomorphic digital signatures would go a long way.  Otherwise, look at US FDIC standards/guidance and work from there.

Your help will be most appreciated.


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