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Bank Fraud: Whose Fault?

Posted by on May 31, 2016.

Owing to a houseful of grandchildren, I’ve not been giving quite the same attention to security news just lately as I do normally, so I nearly missed an article by John Leyden for The Register: Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud.

While I don’t feel a lot of love for the banking industry- so ready to seek taxpayers’ money cut back on services, to recover the cost of its own mistakes and to maintain generous salaries and bonuses for its upper echelons, yet so ungenerous when it comes to paying interest on the money we lend them – it seems reasonable enough in principle that customers should be to some extent accountable for their own actions in cases of proven negligence. Yet I feel a definite frisson at the prospect of sanctions against undeserving ‘hacking victims’ with ‘poor online security’, as discussed in ‘proposed changes mulled by banks, the UK government and GCHQ’. Who is considered competent and impartial enough to evaluate a victim’s security?

The banks who for decades have told victims that they must have shared their PINS, else their cards couldn’t have been used? The banks who have proved so expert at sending security-hostile messages to their customers that have groomed those customers into accepting phishing messages that defy common sense and logic? The banks who want us to use the security software they offer even though it conflicts with other security software?

What could possibly go wrong?

Let’s hope that the effectiveness of the measures financial institutions take to protect their customers’ accounts is scrutinized even more carefully…

David Harley


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