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. ®

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