Feeds

BT-owned ISP Plusnet fails to plug security hole on its customer signup page

Spaffs new user credentials all over the interwebulator

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Exclusive - Updated Sheffield-based telco Plusnet isn't doing any of its new customers "proud" right now, after an anonymous source told The Register that the company was currently transmitting personal details over an unencrypted web page.

The firm, which is owned by telecom giant BT, is asking interested subscribers to fill in a form online that - when submitted - "can be seen by other people while it is in transit".

Incredibly, Plusnet was told about the obvious security blunder by our concerned source over two weeks ago.

We were told:

I was just shocked by the way the sales rep brushed off my reporting of this during the contract setup (after discovering the vulnerability I used the phone instead).

She assured me that the security team would deal with it right away. In my opinion, over two weeks is more than enough time to sort this out.

Also, factor in the point that (as many new customers ordering an initial broadband setup are likely to do) I was using an open Wi-Fi hotspot to visit their site!

Our source added that he had used a private VPN connection to sign up to the ISP, but noted that many ordinary folk will fill in the form, safe in the knowledge that an outfit owned by BT would surely have its security credentials in order.

Click here for a larger version of this screen grab

Another source told us:

Plusnet ... store user passwords in unencrypted form, as I learnt when considering opening an account with them last summer [yes, six months ago]. When I told the 'tech' person I was talking to that many of the credentials could be used to access users' accounts with third party services, he replied that that was impossible. Though he didn't say why. I got broadband from someone else in the end.

Vulture Central was easily able to replicate the Plusnet cockup via the Firefox browser.

Among other things, the form requires an individual's full name, telephone number, username and password. ®

Update

The Reg questioned the firm over its lax security measures for new customers and this statement was provided to us by a spokesman a few hours after we published the story:

All Plusnet customer passwords are stored with full encryption. Our customer sign up page is currently unencrypted, and we are in the process of fixing this urgently.

It would appear that the company only began working on a fix after we'd been in touch. Funny that ...

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.