Feeds

TheTrainline revamps security handling after glitch

Back on track

Next gen security for virtualised 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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.