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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 2 May 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: warwick
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: ANZ Online

An interesting twist to the online banking scenario. I use
ANZ Internet Banking, with the accepted condition that any
transfer of money is strictly my responsibility. However,
even I make mistakes, and one annoying thing is the
inabiltiy to bring up reference numbers after a transaction
has been processed (using Pay Anyone).I pay companies that
require such a number to appear on there statements, so
they can forward it on to the correct account. In the past,
I have entered a wrong number, but no one can bring up this
information. Also, a number of times the system has failed
all together, and ALL reference numbers were deleted. All
the payees got was a reciept number from the bank. Even
though that was not my fault, the bank still could not
correct it there end. The moral seems to be bank online at
completly your own risk...if you make a mistake, it's your
problem. If they make a mistake, it is also your problem!
Either way, it seems at least for ANZ, the information you
supply online, is not always available even to the internet
help staff.

From: name
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Bank Security

Yes, and while you are on that topic i would like to point
out about a complaint i made to nbnz about their online
banking website caching the pages. At the moment, when you
logout, if you hit the back button, surprise surprise,
there's your bank balances sitting right in front of you.
They told me to turn off caching in my web browser until
their coders had time to stick a couple of lines of code in
to prevent caching. I tested another online banking
solution to see if they had the same problem, nope, hit the
back button and, sorry, please login again. Now thats how
it should be, i wont mention the bank but lets just say i
would "Trust" them more than nbnz at the moment.

From: Lindsay Williams
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Bank Security

Good article, Bruce. As reported, the BNZ perpetuates the
blatant falsehood that you are more at risk from emails
from strangers than from acquaintances. As everyone
writing this stuff should damn well know, most worms come
to you because you were in someone's address book i.e
someone you know.

All the virused/wormed attachments I get are from slack

From: Peter Harrison
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Or Run Linux

Insert obligatory mention of using Linux to solve the
problem of security.

Okay, call me a Linux zealot, but after getting a Virus
late last year which basically wiped out my Windows 98
install I was left with a decision to reinstall Windows or
make the move to Linux.

I have been using Linux on my web server for years, and
laughed off Code Red when it came. However I had retained
Windows on my desktop because of the hassel of a total
reinstall and finding Linux software for all the things I
wanted to do.

Then in October last year, dispite not opening attachments
I somehow got a virus through outlook - and it infected a
my whole machine, and also spread to my Web Server that
was running Samba. Very nasty.

I purged the virus easily enough, but it had corrupted
several DLL's and made the system unstable. The only way
to be sure of a stable install was to reinstall everything
from scratch.

I made the decision to move to Linux - Red Hat 7.1. The
install went without a hitch, and to my surprise it
included virtually all the software I needed in the
standard install. Web Browser, Office, Email, pretty much
everything I wanted.

Installing the additional tools I wanted never involved
more than using a RPM or uncompressing an archive, which
is no more complex than using WinZip. No need to go near a
command line.

Since then I have been very happy with Linux as a desktop
OS. I will admit that while the OS is stable, there are
the occational application crashes. I don't think Linux is
as 'polished' as Windows either in the GUI - but recent
release of KDE3 may be correcting this.

Now when I get a virus arrive I can rest assured that
there is no way it could run - even if it were a Linux
virus, unless I specifically run it myself.

From: Anton
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: National Bank

Well in my my experience, it's not quite that bad with the
National Bank's service (I haven't used any others).

By default, I can transfer money between my savings and
cheque accounts but that's it. I have to contact the bank
even to allow me to set up the ability to transfer to my
credit card. Similarly if I want to set up a payment else
where I have to arrange that link with the bank outside the
system. However, I have no idea how easy it is to
impersonate me to do that.

Anybody breaking into my accounts won't be able to do
anything except look at my transactions and transfer money
between my cheque and savings accounts.

From: Warwick Downs
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: alternate operating systems

The BNZ are so concerned about security that you can ONLY run
their internet banking option on some flavour of Windows.  Mac
(apparently because of a legitimate Java security issue on that
platform) and Linux users are out in the cold, lining up at a

From: Kevin
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: National Bank Online banking

The person reporting above is correct about the National
Bank needing phone verification for setting up new
payments. However after you have set one up, it remains
available for future use. So, if for instance someone broke
into my National Bank account, they would be able to
transfer money between my current and savings accounts, as
well as pay Trademe.co.nz (my only registered bill payee)
as much money as they like. That is quite a scary thought

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