Feeds

Shifty scripts on Santander site prompt security fears

Alliance & Leicester bothered by unknown Javascript

Seven Steps to Software Security

Updated Parent firm Santander is reassuring customers that the website of its banking subsidiary Alliance & Leicester is secure despite the presence of JavaScript on its login pages served up from recently created sites of unknown provenance.

Reg reader Matt Freeman said he was prompted with a SSL certificate warning from a domain called 'www.polycache.com' when attempting to log in to Alliance & Leicester's online banking Internet using FireFox 4.

Alarmed by the incident, Matt did some digging and discovered that the warning stemmed from a script from advanced-web-analytics.com that, in turn, downloads another script from polycache.com.

Polycache.com was only registered a few weeks ago and is hosted by virtual server hosting firm lineode.com, a legitimate firm but not one normally associated with hosting e-commerce systems for high street banks. Domain registration details for polycache are hidden. In addition, polycache.com doesn't have a home page.

All this looks rather suspicious if not necessarily malicious. Rik Ferguson, a security consultant at Trend Micro said: "This doesn't look like the infrastructure for a bank."

Ferguson said the set-up more closely resembles the prelude to a possible attack. He said nothing has been stolen as of Tuesday afternoon but the set-up "looks suspicious and it would take only one additional script to do something bad".

Freeman and others have begun debating the issue on Linode.com forums and elsewhere. Freeman has posted a detailed explanation of his worries here. Other Reg readers have separately been in touch with their concerns.

Santander blamed the glitch on a "technical failure" at an unnamed third party online banking partner, which has since been resolved. It stressed that customer data was never at risk, saying that worries to the contrary were "unfounded".

Santander's internet banking systems utilise a number of third parties and one of these appears to have had a technical failure. This has been investigated fully and rectified.

Santander can confirm that neither its website nor the A&L website have been hacked. Customer data has not been compromised.

We asked Santander for a clearer explanation of what the "technical failure" might be. A spokeswoman told us that since this covered a fraud and security issue they were not going to say what it is, but she was able to repeat the assurance that customer data was safe.

Which is nice. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.