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Bank of America SiteKeys ineffective?
From: "Mike N" <niceman () att net>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 07:32:07 -0400


While I applaud Bank of America for being the first to take serious steps to combat phishing, SiteKey only elimintes one class of attack - the simple web site that masquerades as the real site.

From what I can see in the article, SiteKey does not make use of digital certificates to identify the user. Therefore it does nothing to eliminte the class of more sophisticated man-in-the-middle attacks already in use which make use of DNS poisoning to take users to the wrong site. - For this case the browser will cough up the cookie to the phisher site, which they can pass on to the BofA site. This will trigger the BofA site to send back the image and phrase to the user via the Phisher site. The user will enter the login and password; being none the wiser until it fails or he is taken to the Phisher login action of choice.

Bottom line: The only way be reasonably sure you are at your bank's site is to go to a secure login page and examine the certificate to be verify it's issued by a reputable certificate issuer to your bank in your bank's locality. If your bank uses a discount certificate issuer that you don't recognize, don't trust them and get your bank to go with the real thing. And better yet, bookmark the secure page to minimize chances of a typo taking you to a secure type-alike site.

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