Aardvark Daily
Local Net Bankers Choose MS Encryption
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson
ASB Bank
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6 Oct 1997

Encryption is the cornerstone of secure Internet banking and it seems that since the US announced its intention to loosen the stringent controls it previously placed on the export of high-encryption technology, Microsoft has been touting its wares to the banking industry with some success.

Local banks Countrywide and ASB Bank have announced their intentions to use the Microsoft product, known as SGC.

Until now, the first on-line banking system, launched by the ASB Bank has relied on a Swiss product to provide the necessary "strong encryption" technology.

One of the most attractive features of Microsoft's offering is the fact that it will be a standard feature of the Microsoft browser whereas existing technology used by the ASB Bank requires users to download and install a special "plug-in" program.

Although using a smaller key size than the Swiss product currently used by ASB Bank, the difference in all practical terms is academic - the time required to break a 128 bit key using brute-force methods is considered to be impractical.

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