Feeds

TrustDefender debuts web-page fingerprinting in bank fraud fight

First dabs

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Australian security firm TrustDefender is expanding into fraud detection with the release of software designed to spot banking Trojans that manipulate web sessions.

Variants of the ZeuS Trojan and other strains of malware use tricks such as installing phoney dialogue boxes when users log into online banking sites from malware-infected machines.

These so-called man-in-the browser attacks are designed to fool marks into handing over confidential data to fraudsters, such as bank card PINs or one-time login codes. Traditional antivirus software often struggles to quickly identify and block such tactics, which fraudsters employ as a means to get around two-factor authentication for bank logins.

TrustDefender Zero detects these attacks by comparing the content served from a server to the content as seen by a client to detect whether other components of a web page have been added along the way, a probable sign of malfeasance. Andreas Baumhof, CTO and co-founder of TrustDefender, told El Reg that the benefit of the approach is that it is device independent and works without the need to run blacklists or updating.

The technology doesn't rely on cookies, which means it works well if users log onto their banking website in the privacy mode enabled by modern browsers. However, it relies at least partly on JavaScript being enabled in order to run checks on whether webpages as served up are not altered once they reach a customer's computer.

"If you disable JavaScript the technology still looks at IP address and time-zone but it's not as strong as if JavaScript available," Baumhof said.

TrustDefender Zero also includes a device fingerprinting feature that is calculated on a user's PC but not stored there. The firm is looking to sell the technology to banks and e-commerce providers who would offer it to consumers as a means of minimising the risk of fraud.

The product adds to TrustDefender's existing TrustDefender Pro end-point protection software. This technology bundles a security dashboard (that warns end users if their anti-virus is not up to date, for example), whitelisting and memory forensics (to detect the presence of rootkits on client machines).

The software works by disabling any malware that might be present on a machine during the time an online banking transaction might be taking place.

Transaction security firm Trusteer tries to solve a similar problem with a slightly different approach, using client software that hooks into browsers. Trusteer has already signed up a large number of banks in Europe and the US while TrustDefender is at the early stages of its global expansion into these territories.

Ted Egan, CEO and co-founder of TrustDefender, said banks need a choice of software providers. "We're aiming to mix it up a bit", he said. TrustDefender is also targeting e-retailers, airlines and gambling sites with its technology, but its main focus (for now at least) is online banking.

In addition to unveiling TrustDefender Zero, the firm is also launching TrustDefender Central Intelligence Server. The technology, which bolts onto TrustDefender Pro, would sit in a bank's data centre and act to either warn customers or make them go through additional security checks if malware is detected on their systems.

These extra checks might involve sending a one-time login code in the form of an SMS message to a customer's pre-registered mobile number, for example. ®

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 and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
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.
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?