back to article CookieMonster nabs user creds from secure sites

Websites used for email, banking, e-commerce and other sensitive applications just got even less secure with the release of a new tool that siphons users' authentication credentials - even when they're sent through supposedly secure channels. Dubbed CookieMonster, the toolkit is used in a variety of man-in-the-middle scenarios …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bank of America -FAIL

    I'm disappointed.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alliance Leicester FAIL

    If the testing method described in the last para of the article is sound

  3. Max Vernon
    Thumb Up

    TD Canada Trust - PASS

    TD Canada Trust banking seems to work fine.

  4. Max Vernon
    Thumb Down

    Bank of Nova Scotia (Canada) - FAIL

    Not good...

  5. Michael James

    St George Bank, Australia pass

    A few unsecured cookies, but without the secure ones; you're logged out. 8^)

  6. Tom Silver badge

    For the legacy challenged

    How do you check in IE?

  7. Mart
    Thumb Up


    Looks ok here :)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    EBankInter - PASS


  9. david g
    Paris Hilton

    FIRST DIRECT - pass

    Paris - because it's obviously Phorm-related

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward - Pass

    Assuming validity of the test of course

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Halifax and Nationwide - FAIL

    Both allow cookies over "any type of connection"

  12. Aidan Ramskir

    Egg Banking - PASS

    Assuming I followed instructions properly

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Halifax - FAIL


  14. Gerry
    Thumb Up

    FirstDirect - PASS

    Seems to have passed but I hope someone else tries the test.

  15. Aidan Samuel
    Thumb Up - pass

    just the personal side, didn't try the business side.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Try Logging Out !?

    But the banks, and others, say to always logout, so that would surely (?) avoid this situation? Also all banks that I have used automatically log you off if unused for a few minutes.

    Anyway, will try a few...

  17. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Barclays - UK - PASS

    Showed no cookies as secure, so didn't erase anything after the first clearing.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    First Direct - PASS

    First Direct seem to be OK :-)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Standard Bank (South Africa) - PASS

    Only one cookie from the internet banking server, and it's "encrytped connection only".

  20. Danny

    Natwest - PASS

    If this method works

  21. FlatSpot

    What about?

    Next, clear all cookies marked as "SECURE" (in Firefox, go to preferences > privacy > show cookies. Delete only the cookies marked as "Encrypted connections only").

    What if you visit the site and it doesnt have "marked as SECURE/Encrypted connections only" It has JSESSIONID, WT_FPC, and a couple of Apache... is that good or bad :s

  22. robert

    Bank Of Scotland - PASS

    Didnt even need to delete any cookies. As soon as I closed the Bank of Scotland tab, and then reopened it, I was logged out.

  23. druck


    Out of 10 banking an investment sites I've logged in to, only one is even using cookies set to "secure connections only", the rest are all "any connection", so I suspect the problem is extremely widespread.

  24. Prashant Kerai
    Thumb Up

    Lloyds TSB - PASS


  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Halifax (UK) - FAIL

    (Assuming I'm following the guidelines correcly - there weren't any cookies marked as secure)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh come on

    This is a man in the middle attack run on a local network, you can do far more than nab cookies to sites.

    And it is amusing people don't understand how cookies work, Lou Montulli is probably spinning in his grave (ok he is not dead, well not that I know off), but the mechanism has been in for ages to only transmit over a secured channel.

    And you would have thought with all this phorm business, people would have looked into how they were handling their cookies, but a lot of folks use frameworks and obviuosly people who don't know what they are doing have been building those.

    It is a little bit of a storm in a teacup, but the fix is so trivial, it is called not hiring cowyboy coders.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    German Commerzbank, Volkswagenbank Pass , but ...

    ... it's not only your bank account. fails as does

  28. Tim Parker
    Thumb Up

    HSBC (UK) - Pass

    Nuff z

  29. Rob Parsons

    Lloyds TSb passes, I think

    Couldn't do that on Firefox for some reason, but the cookie manager in Opera says Lloyds TSB's online service cookies are secure.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's another way...

    There's one safe way to secure our online bank accounts...don't have them online!

    We've managed perfectly well for many years without online accounts.

    Think I'll put up with the slight increase in inconvenience by using a bricks and mortar bank account.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    barclays... FAIL

    Konqueror reports all cookies as ... "Secure: No".

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First Direct - pass?

    In FF3, didn't see any encrypted cookies etc, but deleted the many other new ones related to the session, then clicked on a button in the banking window - immediately booted right out...

    Anonymous as I don't want anyone to know who I bank with!

  34. blah
    Thumb Down

    Royal Bank Of Scotland - Fail

    Just rang them, and was told "we are aware of it" without me even saying what the issue was??

  35. David Hayes
    Thumb Up

    HSBC (UK) - Pass

    Thankfully they get something right!

  36. Steve Sherlock

    LloydsTSB - Pass

    I feel somewhat relieved, but then I remember I'm in court with the gits and it all comes crumbling down again :p

  37. Steve Sherlock

    (Bubble Burst) Student Finance website is wiiiiiiiiiiide open. FAIL

    Just tried out the student finance site which is full of lots of lovely personal info, and they're as open as.. (on the internet, must keep clean...) a really, really, really wide open thing. *cough*

  38. V
    Thumb Up


    Gnatwest - OK

    (they did something right for a change!)

  39. Charles Green
    Thumb Up

    Citibank - PASS

    From the US, anyway.

  40. Charles Green
    Thumb Up

    TD Ameritrade - PASS

    TD Ameritrade passes after removing secure cookies from 'ameritrade' and 'tdameritrade' domains.

  41. Robin Layfield
    Thumb Down

    Co-operative Bank - FAIL

    boohoo... no secure cookies. gonna report it now

  42. DZ-Jay - FAIL

    Damn! not a Secure Cookie in sight!


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man in the Middle

    If you use an external proxy server you could easily be vulnerable to a Man in the Middle attack, but then if you're accessing sensitive sites via this method, you should step away from your PC.

    Of course, there is the additional problem of the ubiquitious "transparent caches" employed by some ISPs, also.

    I noticed that at least one person commenting above didn't understand the instructions properly, btw.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Co-op bank - FAIL

    I see no "secure connection only" cookies after logging in to the co-op bank website, so presumably they're vulnerable.

    Curiously Halifax do send one "secure only" cookie, however removing it doesn't cause the session to close so presumably it's one of the "any type of connection" cookies that actually matters.

    Pathetic. Let's see how long it takes them all to fix it.

  45. Roger Heathcote
    Thumb Up

    Nice hack

    That's a clever little hack, goes to show there's no easy way to check your balance on the coffee shop's free wifi connection. Have to admit I didn't know about secure cookies until I read this, I'd start using SSL on all my sites if certs were a whole lot cheaper :-)

  46. Len Goddard
    Thumb Down

    Cahoot (part of abbey)

    Flooded me with cookies but none were marked as secure.

    Deleting the cookies logged me out.

  47. Brian Miller

    RBS fail...ish

    Royal bank of scotland fails for the login but now requires the use of crazy encrypto calc to do any sort of transfers outside of your own accounts.

    So, someone could come in and transfer money between my own accounts, but would not be able to set up direct debits, transfer to someone else's account etc.

    Not great, but at least its something. Just in time too. This is brand new,

  48. Hunter Chisholm
    Thumb Up

    National City - PASS

    So does American Express - pass

  49. lIsRT

    Alliance & Leicester - PASS?

    I see the 2nd comment above, but logging in to it seems like a PASS, it *always* asks for my PIN anyway, so I'm not sure if that means it was safe already.

  50. Nigel Callaghan Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Abbey Business - PASS

    ...if I did it right.


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