ANZ on the Security of Email

A while back, ANZ offered me the opportunity to receive some of my statements as ‘e-statements’. While I fully approve of the move away from paper, I must confess I was slightly disappointed to find out that they’d be emailing me notices about these e-statements – one of the big reasons I think Australia (or at least, ANZ) has done well in the fight against phishing is because they’ve simply not ever sent any emails out, ever. Contrast this to a US bank (Wells Fargo) – within days of signing up I’d received a huge variety of emails, making it easy to see why so many US citizens get scammed so easily.

I typically ignore these emails but as part of my ever-growing interest in how email works and how people use it, I checked out my most recent one, and was interested to see the following disclaimer in the email footer:

ANZ does not guarantee the integrity of this communication, or that it is free from errors, viruses or interference. As email is transmitted via the Internet, which is an unsecure environment, ANZ cannot ensure that an email is not interfered with during transmission.

Clearly they’ve never heard of public cryptography! Of course, even if they had, and the email was encrypted and/or digitally signed, that last sentence wold probably still exist from a sheer cover-their-ass perspective.

Still, I’m looking forward to the day when my bank (and other sites) let me enter in my public key as part of my account settings so all correspondence from them can be encrypted. I’m continually surprised that so few sites do this. I’m keen to integrate something like this into AusGamers – not that we really need it, but just because I think it would be cool to do.

It should be noted though that their emails include /no/ links at all and are sent in plain text.

One thought on “ANZ on the Security of Email”

  1. Yeah, that’d be cool in a ‘practice what you preach’ kinda way.

    PKI is also going to be needed on waves too (sooner rather than later)

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