Feeds

TheTrainline revamps security handling after glitch

Back on track

Security for virtualized datacentres

TheTrainline.com, the UK website for buying train tickets, has revamped its procedures for dealing with security reports following an incident where a security bug meant that customers could be invited to submit credit card details over an insecure link. The flaw had an effect only when users made an error in submitting their credit card details, so it didn't affect the majority of customers.

Nonetheless it was a serious slip-up, which went unresolved even three weeks after it was reported to the firm by Tim Anderson, a Reg Developer contributor, on 8 October. Another Reg reader reported similar problems. Our initial attempts to contact the firm also proved fruitless, but less than a day after our story was filed on the problem TheTrainline.com implemented a fix.

The passenger transport etailer said on Monday that it has now updated its procedures for handling reports of security bugs, following a review after our report in November.

"I cannot express firmly enough that security is an issue that this company takes very seriously," Ben Pearson, commercial director of TheTrainline.com, told El Reg. "It was with considerable dismay that I learned of this fault and the problem was resolved within a day of it being brought to my attention. Subsequent to your article we have also introduced new procedures such that customer reported faults of this nature get escalated immediately for diagnosis and remedy."

TheTrainline.com deserves credit for its willingness to review how it handles security bugs. It's a lesson other firms in the transport sector - who in our experience at least are far more difficult to contact about problems over security than other ecommerce firms - would do well to note.

The original problem - now resolved - kicked in when customers made an error on the final payment page after choosing a journey they wished to purchase. Customers who made an error were bounced over onto an insecure page, inviting them to submit corrected details over an unencrypted HTTP link, as a result of a coding error. Inattentive users could be forgiven for missing the change. Although the HTTPS signifier in the URL was absent, a falsely reassuring padlock graphic remained in place, along with logos for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.

There's no evidence that the bug was used to carry out fraud, but the potential for abuse was clearly there. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.