Payments provider forces Chinese to patch, run firewalls

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Millions of security slack users sent warning notices.

Some 550 million Chinese could be forced to update their anti-virus software and patch their Windows machines in order to use online banking.

The move – said to be the first security measure of its kind on such a scale – would see the country’s third largest payments provider, Alipay, use Microsoft's back-end systems to determine whether software on customers' Windows machines were up to date.

It would scan the computers to ascertain if important patches were applied, anti-virus signatures up-to-date and firewalls in use.

Users who failed the test would be issued with a notice warning for their lax security state. It was unclear if customers would be prevented from banking online or have transactions restricted if they failed the test.

Alipay could be issuing plenty of notices given the large number of counterfeit Windows installations in China, some of which could not be patched. Last year, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said 90 percent of Microsoft products used in the country were counterfeit.

The move could be a forerunner to the way western banks approach customer security, Microsoft’s chief security strategist Scott Charney told SC.

“Some banks are already refusing to allow users to use older web browsers like IE (Internet Explorer) 6,” Charney said. “It gives an idea into how they are thinking."

Banks would have increased capability to regulate the security posture of their customers under Windows 8 according to Charney, allowing them to tap into boot security technologies including early-launch anti-malware.

On the mobile front, fraud experts within the finance sector had previously called for jailbroken devices to be banned from accessing bank services.

Jailbroken devices expose root directories and activate a string of services, such as remote access, which are not normally available. This made phones easier to attack particularly if users neglected to change the default root passwords.

Darren Pauli travelled to Redmond as a guest of Microsoft. 

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


Payments provider forces Chinese to patch, run firewalls
 
 
 
Top Stories
Toll Group to go Google
Poaches Woolworths project manager.
 
How News Corp's CIO tackled skills in his race to the cloud
What to do when your team’s talents are no longer needed.
 
Photos: How Thodey transformed Telstra
From turbulent Trujillo to Australia's leading telco.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Microsoft Outlook is now on iPhone and iPad: why could this be useful?
Jan 30, 2015
Microsoft today released Office for Android and Outlook for iOS - complementing the other Office ...
Franchisees, here's something you should know about
Jan 23, 2015
You need to know the Code if you are a franchisee or franchisor as the penalties are significant.
Xero users rejoice! Quoting has finally arrived
Jan 23, 2015
It has taken years, but Xero has at last added integrated quoting to its online accounting software.
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  35%
 
Your insurance company
  5%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  9%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  4%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  18%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  7%
TOTAL VOTES: 3957

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?

   |   View results
I support shutting down the OAIC.
  27%
 
I DON'T support shutting the OAIC.
  73%
TOTAL VOTES: 1347

Vote