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An online retailer running a special promotion offer via the sites of prominent web retailers left customer details in plain view on an insecure Web server.

The problem came to light when a Register reader entered his details for a mobile phone promotion, which was administered by onehighsteet.com, and carried on the sites of more well known firms such as House of Chocolates and Software Introducer's.

After running into difficulties with the form, our reader backtracked and was shocked to discover customer data, including names, telephone numbers and bank details, on a web page which was not secured by any password or cryptographic protection.

After verifying the problem, we called onehighsteet.com whose administrator said that permission to access the page containing the customer detailers was left open because the page should not be accessible during normal customer operation. After our call, permission to access the page was blocked, bringing onehighsteet.com in line with a published security policy its lax security had caused it to violate.

This privacy policy, available at onehighstreet.com, states: " When you place orders, our secure server software (SSL) encrypts all information you input before it is sent to us. Furthermore, as required by the UK Data Protection Act 1984, we follow strict security procedures in the storage and disclosure of information which you have given us, to prevent unauthorised access. ®

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