NatWest customer services: We're aware of security glitch

NatWest PR: No, no, no. That person's info was BAD


Brit retail bank NatWest is backtracking on previous claims that it was aware of a security glitch at the log-in stage that requested customers to enter more digits of their password than existed.

A little over a week ago, a potential security issue emerged when this writer was asked to enter the 11th digit of a password to an online account that only contained nine characters.

Worried I'd been hacked, I rang the NatWest Customer Care Centre and a supervisor took on the case, which was then "escalated".

A letter was subsequently sent by NatWest apologising for the incident, assuring your correspondent: “in order to more thoroughly investigate this matter for you, I have contacted our Online Banking technicians directly and discussed the issue in detail with them.”

The supervisor continued: "I was informed that we are currently aware of an error in which the online banking service is requesting customers to enter a digit of their password which they do not hold."

The techies at NatWest could not ascertain where the error stemmed from, "as our systems do not record which characters of a pin or password in entered into the system for security reasons," the letter continued.

Work on a solution was under way but "no time scale can yet be provided," the NatWest customer services rep said.

So El Reg contacted the PR wizards at the bank to ask them what was happening, only for them to deny any such problem existed.

The supervisor's letter had been sent with “with incorrect information”. The PR handlers further assured us, “there is no technical glitch with our online banking facilities”.

We did attempt to clarify why the info was sent out, but got no further beyond the suggestion that some member of their customer services team had exceeded their authority.

Has anything similar happened to any of you? We'd love to know. Send us an email here. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022