Stanford Federal Credit Union (SFCU) has implemented PassMark Security's recently-released two-factor two-way authentication system to provide its members with secure online access to accounts and eliminate the threat from phishing.
SFCU says each of its members will receive a secret PassMark - a small image and a phrase - which is displayed to members during log in. If the PassMark is correct members will know the Web site in genuine and that it is safe to enter passwords.
The vendor says the system provides two-way authentication because it verifies the user to the site and the site to the user, and two-factor because it identifies the user's computer hardware as a second factor of authentication.
John Davis, president, SFCU, says: "Online members have always had to prove their identities to us. But with the explosion of 'phishing' attacks, online service providers should have to prove their identities to the consumer. PassMarks give us an effective way to do so."
Bill Harris, co-founder and chairman of PassMark Security, says with the advent of phishing and keylogging attacks, passwords alone are no longer adequate protection for e-commerce.
He adds that the PassMark system offers security without requiring the users to have any new hardware or install any new software.
Financial firms can also use the technology to authenticate outgoing e-mail, by inserting a copy of the recipient's PassMark into the message.