German regulators launch e-banking probe

German regulators launch e-banking probe

Banking supervisors in Germany are to conduct investigations into Web site security at leading national e-banking and brokerage sites.

As part of a long-term project, the Federal Banking Supervisory Office and the Deutsche Bundesbank, in cooperation with the German Information Security Agency (GISA Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik), say they will conduct security analyses at institutions which execute a large percentage of their transactions with private or corporate customers over the Internet.

In a statement, the law-makers say the rapid growth of Internet banking in recent years has exposed financial institutions and their customers to the risks of data theft through eavesdropping, hacking, sniffing or spoofing, or of data corruption, destruction or misuse. "System breakdowns or virus attacks could also significantly impair customer confidence in the secure settlement of e-banking transactions," they add.

Banking regulators believe the only way to guarantee the proper functioning of e-banking business is through the implementation of comprehensive technical and organisational IT security measures.

The German Information Security Agency has been commissioned to conduct rigorous analyses of at least ten leading e-banking platforms by the autumn.

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