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These 8 banking apps left millions of users vulnerable to getting hacked


Research from the University of Birmingham is bringing bad news for users of mobile apps from HSBC, Bank of America, Meezan Bank, and Smile Bank: All their apps are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks that could leave account credentials open to theft.

Five apps from HSBC contain the vulnerability (HSBC, HSBC Business, HSBCNet, HSBC Identity, and HSBC Private), bringing the total number of vulnerable banking apps to eight.

Considering that the apps collectively have tens of millions of users, eight is more than enough for this particular flaw to be a serious discovery.

A certificate pinning nightmare

Certificate pinning, where a certificate is only accepted if it is signed by a single Certificate Authority (CA) root certificate, is becoming a popular form of security for transport layer security (TLS) connections that transmit sensitive data over the internet. The University of Birmingham researchers found a flaw in pinning, however: It can "hide the lack of...(continued)

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