Microsoft opens Chinese systems for anti-virus checks

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Payments provider to send millions warning notices.

Approximately 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


Microsoft opens Chinese systems for anti-virus checks
 
 
 
Top Stories
Beyond ACORN: Cracking the infosec skills nut
[Blog post] Could the Government's cybercrime focus be a catalyst for change?
 
The iTnews Benchmark Awards
Meet the best of the best.
 
Telstra hands over copper, HFC in new $11bn NBN deal
Value of 2011 deal remains intact.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Xero prepares for key feature coming in 2015
Dec 19, 2014
Xero users will be able to track how their business is comparing to other Xero users.
More 4G from Optus in Darwin
Nov 21, 2014
Click to see where Optus has expanded coverage to the suburbs near Darwin.
Optus steps up regional 4G coverage
Nov 20, 2014
Once 700Mhz services are working, Optus claims regional users will have a "faster and more ...
This Huawei 4G phone costs $99
Nov 12, 2014
The $99 Huawei Ascend Y550, available through Vodafone, enters the budget market as one of the ...
4G smartphones: Microsoft's Lumia 830
Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has announced its flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 4G, will be available in ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  14%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  6%
TOTAL VOTES: 1804

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