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General Musing

blaze your trail

ING reveals names using account numbers #bank #risk

with 6 comments

Last week I saw an episode of a popular Dutch Ombudsman program , they revealed that it was possible to order goods online using only a name and account number, without verification using signature. (This makes use of the “eenmalige machtiging”, which is a single ‘authorized’ direct debit to an account.) And they wondered how these people were able to find names and account numbers which can be used in this scam.

Banks are constantly weighing customer needs, and security, which means that in the case of account numbers a number of banks are quite happy to correct the accountholder name when they know you have made a mistake, including my own bank ING. This is very user friendly, so when I type an account number 99999 and an incorrect accountholder name Smith the banking application happily corrects me – Schmidt – and asks me if I am sure that the name they have supplied is the correct one. This is a handy feature, which I also use often as the accountholder name contains more than just initials and surname, it also contains city of residence.

The danger comes when I type in an account number I don’t know the name of, such as 1 and enter a random string of characters and the bank gives me -S RIJKS SCHATKIST S GRAVENHAGE. (Which is the Dutch government’s bank account, just in case you wondered why the Dutch government bailed out the ING.) And this holds true for other accounts, which I won’t publish here as it probably violates my use of the banking application.

So you know next time you can just get the Dutch government to pay for all your online shopping.

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 30, 2010 at 10:16 am

Posted in business, finance, risk, security

Tagged with , , ,

6 Responses

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