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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 04:58

Details of 100,000 Australians leaked through PayID Featured

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The inherent weakness at the heart of the real-time payments platform PayID has been exposed, with the details of about 100,000 Australians being leaked through an attack on the Westpac bank.

Nine reported that Westpac had confirmed the incident, but not provided an indication as to how many people were affected.

PayID is available under the New Payments Platform and allows anyone to transfer money using a mobile number or an email address. But on the downside, one can confirm the name of an account holder by using their mobile number or email address.

A confidential memo obtained by Nine provided details about the leak. "On 22 May 2019, Westpac noted that a high volume (600,000) of NPPA PayID lookups was made from seven compromised Westpac Live accounts. "[Around 98,000] of the lookups successfully resolved to a short name and this was displayed to the fraudster," it said.

The memo said these attacks had been taking place since 7 April and the attackers were probably offshore, with the logins indicating they were based in the US.

The Commonwealth Bank was the first to begin offering PayID in February last year.

Contacted for comment, a Westpac spokesperson said: "Westpac can confirm we had detected misuse of the NPP’s PayID functionality and we took additional preventive actions which did not include a system shutdown.

"No customer bank account numbers were compromised as a result.

"Westpac Group takes the protection of customer data and privacy extremely seriously and we continually monitor our systems."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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