St George slams insecurity claims

St George Bank has rejected claims its Internet banking system is insecure despite a customer successfully transferring money from a Sydney-based venture capital company into a personal Net account.

Adam Cook, the bank's corporate relations manager, said media reports of the incident this week were "misleading" as it was not an Internet security problem but a procedural fault which occurred in the administration process of setting up the account.

Ann Cruz, an accountant at Sydney-based venture capitalist Ebit was able to view her company's accounts after logging on to her personal Internet banking account.

As a signatory to the company's accounts she was able to transfer funds directly into her own account and demonstrated the flaw by completing a $10 transaction.

Cook confirmed the incident but blamed the way the account was set up, adding it has never happened before.

"We linked the business account to her existing customer details at St George. That was the fault and this gave her access via her personal Internet account; it isn't an Internet problem in the slightest," he said.

"Also, she was the only signatory to her company's account which is unusual in itself."

Internet banking generally is striving to overcome consumer security fears and eSec Limited chief technolongy officer Michael Paddon said there are still problems to be tackled.

"Internet banking in Australia is pretty safe; they are doing a good job compared to some of their overseas counterparts," he said.w

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