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CHAPIN, S.C. – A third level of authentication – which adds another level of protection against automated scriptwriters able to hack past the typical PIN and password system – is now being offered by PM Systems Corp. to credit unions using its WebFederal2 online banking solution. The three-way system adds a graphic image of an additional four-character security code. It changes randomly each time a member goes to the log-in area and the user then simply types in the number shown on the JPEG image, the company said. “Automated hacking scripts cannot see this JPEG security code because it is a graphic image as opposed to a text image. This kills the efforts of all but the most sophisticated of the scriptwriters,” said Robert Broadwell, vice president at PM Systems. “They just move on to easier targets . the thousands of credit unions and banks that use account numbers and four-digit PIN’s,” Broadwell said. Broadwell said specialists in his firm’s security unit, CU Defense, have demonstrated to him and clients how the typical two-way system can be penetrated by automated scriptwriters that move slowly enough that many intrusion detectors perceive it as normal activity. Because of that, he said, “multi-layered authentication is now being widely used and many large institutions have moved away from two-way authentication schemes.”

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