Guarding online banking

09 November, 2007

An image of the PINsentry tool

Apparently at the end of this month I’ll be sent a small tool to make my online banking more secure. It’s called PINsentry. As far as I, as a selfish user, can see it’s actually designed to make my online banking experience slower and limit it to one location at a time (unless I want to drag it around with me at all times).

The website does actually provide a list of FAQs but for some inexplicable reason it’s Flash-based so I can’t actually link to the one which says that if I don’t have my reader with me I can view my accounts and nothing more.

I’ll save any further comment until I’ve received it, but at the moment I’m not feeling particularly generous.

See other posts tagged with bank general security and all posts made in November 2007.


Rod Begbie
09 November, 2007 at 01:02

How many of the Pinsentry gizmos can you get? Can you just keep phoning up and claiming you haven’t received it until you have one beside every computer you use?

I’m quite happy to have my PayPal/eBay keychain dongle (, not least because it also works with my OpenID provider, but if I had more than one, it might get a bit on the annoying side.

09 November, 2007 at 09:35

The Flash-based “page” – presumably so they can fade text in and out like a pro – just proves to me how much Barclays don’t get it at all when it comes to customers/users.

Presumably the warnings that it gives you right at the bottom of the “common questions” page (I’d cut and paste, but… hnnng) are to prevent social engineering attacks? If that’s the case, isn’t this just another level of perception of security? I can see it would help prevent ongoing or delayed fraud, but does it prevent live man-in-the-middle relay attacks?

Kind of hoping they send me one now, just to see what it’s like…

Phil Wilson
10 November, 2007 at 00:05

You get one free, and then it’s £6 for each one after that. The size is a problem – if it was on my keychain I’d probably be less bothered.

The Barclay’s Q&A on this is just a disaster – on the front page there’s a list of questions but they’re not clickable to their answers, just a link for “see the answers to these questions!” and then those questions aren’t the first thing on the page. And then it’s in Flash. Rubbish.

Phil Wilson
05 February, 2008 at 15:21

Just testing