ABN AMRO Saldo for iPhone

One of the advantages of modern electronic banking is a very high security. Its provided by a very strong 2 factor authentication. You must have a small computer (authenticator) in order to generate cryptically strong (supposedly) random passwords.

(pic is from abnamro.nl)

I’ve described about e-commerce application of this authentication in my post about IDeal payment system.

It doesn’t matter if your computer got compromised and somebody stole your passwords. They’re not valid anymore. And you can not crack the authenticator device remotely, it’s not connected to the Internet. One only cold steal it and try to guess your PIN. One of the reasons why computer viruses could target e-banking software is that old banks don’t use this type of authentication.

However just today I’ve downloaded an iPhone app called Saldo voor de iPhone from ABN-Amro. This small app allows you to check the balance on your accounts without supplying the random passwords every time!

Surely, it’s not an open book and you jave to supply a pin-code every time you start it, but this pin-code is checked only locally! ¬†And you can check your balance without using the authenticator. According to the web-site of ABN-AMRO the app is build according to the security standards of the bank. But they don’t say which ones!

So the hackers just have to hack the iPhone app and get access to your balance. Hopefully it doesn’t allow to send money without 2-level authentication.

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