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So... did I mention I sometimes hate banks?

But I'll start at the beginning.

In the beginning, the big bang created the universe and evolution created humans, penguins, polar bea... oh well, fuck it, a couple million years fast forward...

Your trusted, local flightless bird walks into a bank to open an account. This, on its own, was a mistake, but opening an online bank account as a minor (which I was before I turned 18, because that was how things worked) was not that easy at the time.

So, yours truly of course signs a contract, binding me to follow the BSI Grundschutz (A basic security standard in Germany, it's not a law, but part of some contracts. It contains basic security advice like "don't run unknown software, install antivirus/firewall, use strong passwords", so it's just a basic prototype for a security policy).

The copy provided with my contract states a minimum password length of 8 (somewhat reasonable if you don't limit yourself to alphanumeric, include the entire UTF 8 standard and so on).

The bank's online banking password length is limited to 5 characters. So... fuck the contract, huh?

Calling support, they claimed that it is a "technical neccessity" (I never state my job when calling a support line. The more skilled people on the other hand notice it sooner or later, the others - why bother telling them) and that it is "stored encrypted". Why they use a nonstandard way of storing and encrypting it and making it that easy to brute-force it... no idea.

However, after three login attempts, the account is blocked, so a brute force attack turns into a DOS attack.

And since the only way to unblock it is to physically appear in a branch, you just would need to hit a couple thousand accounts in a neighbourhood (not a lot if you use bots and know a thing or two about the syntax of IBAN numbers) and fill up all the branches with lots of potential hostages for your planned heist or terrorist attack. Quite useful.

So, after getting nowhere with the support - After suggesting to change my username to something cryptic and insisting that their homegrown, 2FA would prevent attacks. Unless someone would login (which worked without 2FA because the 2FA only is used when moving money), report the card missing, request a new one to a different address and log in with that. Which, you know, is quite likely to happen and be blamed on the customer.

So... I went to cancel my account there - seeing as I could not fulfill my contract as a customer. I've signed to use a minimum password length of 8. I can only use a password length of 5.

Contract void. Sometimes, I love dealing with idiots.

And these people are in charge of billions of money, stock and assets. I think I'll move to... idk, Antarctica?

Comments
  • 2
    Sparkasse?
  • 2
    Leaving a comment so I get notified in case the name of the bank is reviled.
  • 2
    Sounds like Sparkasse. Thats why I don't do any online banking and set myself limits for:
    a. debt my account can go into
    b. SEPA
    c. payment by card
    d. withdrawal without calling my local customer manager
    e. countries that I can use my card in

    It does limit your flexibility a bit but it prevents a lot of scams and stuff and I can always call them to give them a notice that I want to wire a large amount of money or I show up in person and identify myself to withdraw money
  • 2
    @ThermalCube that's why you switch banks. 😉
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