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
Inside the stalemate on Australia's piracy code
Still not registered almost five months on.
 
IT staff outline deep anger in Macquarie Uni survey
‘Morale at lowest point in a decade’.
 
Cost blowout to push NBN past $41bn budget
But government funding cap to remain.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Say goodbye to OneDrive Groups
Aug 28, 2015
If you've a) actually been using OneDrive and b) gone so far as to actually have been using ...
Libreoffice 5 review
Aug 24, 2015
It's free! It's open! But does LibreOffice deliver on its promise of a powerful office suite for ...
How to disable Cortana in Windows 10
Aug 21, 2015
Stop Microsoft's personal assistant snooping around.
Uni is optional: 5 tech leaders without a degree
Aug 17, 2015
Already running a business, but thinking about going back to uni? From Bill Gates to Steve Jobs, ...
New features coming to Xero
Aug 17, 2015
Use Xero? Here are some of the things you can look forward to in the coming months.
Latest Comments
Polls
New Windows 10 users, are you upgrading from...




   |   View results
Windows 8
  47%
 
Windows 7
  44%
 
Windows XP
  5%
 
Another operating system
  3%
 
Windows Vista
  2%
TOTAL VOTES: 707

Vote