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Author: TMFLonghorn One star, 50 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 195  
Subject: Hacker methods for online brokerage accounts Date: 3/9/2008 3:34 AM
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Hi all - thought I would pass along some interesting techniques hackers are using online these days - from the most recent Barron's edition (3.10.08):

Hacking in to transfer money to an outside account.
This one was quite interesting: "Rigging an investor's computer to buy penny stocks being sold by a crook at hugely inflated values."
Changing your account address so future checks go directly to them.

The article focused more on what brokerage firms are doing to combat security breaches and gave some overall advice on what best to do:

First off, make sure to use 'https' when logging in to view online information.

Some brokers are using token passwords that change every few minutes - the drawback is you'd have to "carry the token...usually on a key ring or in a wallet."

Fidelity uses encryption so that the user info you enter cannot be read while it is going over the Internet.

TD Ameritrade is introducing technology that remembers which computer client's use to log in to accounts - if from a different computer it requests additional information. I think this is pretty widely available for most brokers/banks already...

Here's a novel approach: to eliminate hacker's ability to steal computer key strokes, TradeKing has users enter passwords "on an on-screen keyboard, using your mouse to select the appropriate characters."

Other than that, there was a general description of algorithms firms use and other firewall or "intrusion detection" technology. Interesting stuff to read about overall, and so far it looks like brokers in general have been able to stay a step ahead of hackers..

Any horror stories out there of ID theft or having account information compromised? I've had credit card information stolen from a Fidelity account, but they promptly credited the amounts after I alerted them...
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