Banks under fire

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The Independent Online

Banks have been accused of failing to give personal online customers the same level of security enjoyed by businesses.

Banks have been accused of failing to give personal online customers the same level of security enjoyed by businesses.

The attack comes a few days after Egg, the Prudential's internet bank, was revealed as the target of what is thought to have been the first attempt in Britain to rob an online bank.

Richard Parris, chief executive of Intercede, a security systems supplier, was surprised by the discrepancy. "If banks were using the same systems for personal customers as they are for internal systems and business customers, then the current spate of security concerns revolving around internet banking wouldn't be happening," he said.

Critics argue that using a static password will no longer put off cyber-thieves. Some banks provide internet customers with smart-card technology to protect accounts. The bad publicity surrounding online banking could force banks to offer better protective measures. But lawyers warned that internet banks remain a target for crime syndicates.

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