Feeds

HSBC plugs hole that exposed site directory

John Lewis Partnership site rather too open for comfort

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

HSBC has finally fixed a bug that allowed web surfers to browse the directory structure of a supposedly secure website it helps to run.

The John Lewis Partnership card secure website (a joint venture with HSBC) allowed the curious, and potentially malicious, to peek into its underlying structure.

"Great if you were planning a phishing attack and wanted to get a complete site layout and set of assets," as Reg reader Liam notes.

The problem was first drawn to our attention by Reg reader Martin, who came across it when looking at his John Lewis Partnership credit card statement. He told us about the bug back at the start of April.

"I've just tried to look at my John Lewis Partnership credit card statement (operated by HSBC) and was greeted by the directory listing of the website," Martin said at the time. "I doubt there was any very interesting information there, but it shows something is going pretty wrong there." He supplied screenshots to back up his concerns, which we won't republish in case they give miscreants any clues.

The directory problems at the site were one of three information security queries about HSBC we put to the bank early this month. It was able to satisfactorily explain the other two but not immediately deal with the directory browsing, asking for more information, which we didn't immediately have to hand.

It was only when Liam's tip-off came in, prompting fresh inquiries from El Reg, that it zeroed in on the problem.

"Although there is no access to any customer data via this link, there is no reason for the content of John Lewis's website to be available in this format. We are in the process of removing access to the John Lewis Partnership card website from this link," a spokesman for the bank explained.

HSBC has now fixed the bug.

Taken on its own the directory browsing problem is no big deal. But HSBC has had all sorts of problems keeping its e-payments system up and running over recent weeks, for example, to say nothing of the unfortunate incident when it lost customer data in the post or earlier problems in forgetting to renew one of its digital certificates on time.

Recent developments suggest the bank is becoming more committed to making its ecommerce sites more secure, however. The bank has begun using extended validation certs from VeriSign; a welcome step in itself, but of course irrelevant to ecommerce merchants who lost money through its ecommerce processing outages. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.