AIB tightens net security

27 Oct 2004

AIB is making enhancements to the levels of security in its internet banking service, one of a series of measures the bank is taking to combat online fraud. The latest change will see AIB rolling out higher levels of encryption for users accessing its personal banking website. The site, previously called 24 Hour Online, will also be renamed as AIB Internet Banking.

According to AIB, encryption effectively scrambles information while it is moving from one computer to another, in order to prevent the information being viewed or tampered with. The site already uses 128bit encryption within its website, however, customers can access the site using browsers with lower levels of encryption.

From 2 December, the site will only accept browsers set at the 128bit level. “128-bit encryption is the highest level of protection, which Microsoft supports for all internet connections,” the company said.

There are currently more than 220,000 active users of the personal internet banking service. AIB said that a small percentage of users have browsers with less than 128bit encryption and will therefore need to upgrade in order to access the site after 2 December.

AIB said that there would be no noticeable difference to customers who use the internet banking site, as 128bit works in the background by encrypting information as it passes from the customer’s computer to the bank’s computer. Visitors to the site will notice that the web address has changed and there will be appropriate notices on the website informing them of any changes, a bank spokesperson added.

Asked whether the move came in response to the publicity around phishing attacks, the spokesperson confirmed: “The 128-bit initiative is one of a number of measures AIB is taking to combat new and emerging internet based frauds.”

By Gordon Smith