Security mechanisms in the Pl@net system

1 Can an electronic banking be secure?
2 Authentication and authorization
3 Rules worth remembering
3.1 Can you trust the computer you use to log in?
3.2 Can anybody see?
3.3 Check the website address, check whether the SSL protocol is used
3.4 Check the server certificate
3.5 Do not share your keys
3.6 Do not share your logging password
3.7 Check logging dates
3.8 Check the image
3.9 Check what you sign
3.10 Log out from the service.
4 What security measures are applied?
4.1 Logging into the system
4.1.1 Masked passwords
4.1.2 Authentication with keys (electronic signature)
4.1.3 Which authentication/authorization method to choose?
4.2 Transaction authorization
4.2.1 Authorization with an electronic signature
4.2.2 Authorization with SMS codes
5 Notifications

1 Can an electronic banking be secure?

All depends on the fact whether a person who uses an electronic banking system observes the rules of secure usage of this type of services. In such a case, using an electronic banking system may be even more secure than a visit in a bank branch.
Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas S.A. has made every effort in order to develop effective security mechanisms that simultaneously do not impede the service usage too excessively.
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2 Authentication and authorization

To start using the Pl@net system, it is necessary to log into the system. This process is described as authentication. At the moment an operation is to be performed in the system (e.g. transfer to another Customer's account or to an account in another bank), the system will ask you to confirm this operation, i.e. to authorise the transaction. It constitutes an additional protection against an operation execution by unauthorized persons. This authorizing procedure may be compared to e.g. affixing a signature under a transfer instruction in the branch.
The Internet banking system offers one authentication method in the system, which entails a respective transaction authorization manner:
  • logging in using a masked password and transaction authorization with a SMS code (Individual customers)
  • logging in using a masked password and an SMS code as well as transaction authorisation with an SMS code (Companies)
  • logging and transaction authorization with an electronic signature (generated with an USB cryptographic device or a smart card).
More detailed information about authentication and authorization mechanisms applied are available in section 4.
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3 Rules worth remembering

3.1 Can you trust the computer you use to log in?
No security system is fully effective if you can't trust the computer you use to log into the bank. Along with the Internet development new threats have appeared, which a few years ago were yet unknown. Viruses, root kits, Trojan codes, key loggers, phishing, farming, spoofing ... - all these, and other threats not listed here may cause inefficiency of security measures applied. Therefore, regardless of an operating system and web browser you use, take care to:
  • update the system and web browser on current basis,
  • install an antivirus software in the system along with up-to-date virus bases,
  • make sure the computer is secured as recommended by the manufacturer of the operating system you use.
If your computer behaves atypically, operates more slowly than usual, advertisement windows pop up, strange errors - it may mean that your computer has been infected. You can't ignore such symptoms.
With special reservations the usage of publicly available computers, in cyber cafes for instance, should be treated. Such computers are often improperly secured, therefore, using the electronic banking system with their agency may be risky.
Why is it so important? If malicious software operates on the computer, it may track the connection with the bank, collect passwords you enter, steal your files and even modify the data you enter.
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3.2 Can anybody see?
Although the security mechanisms used by the Pl@net system make "looking over a shoulder" an ineffective method of attack, however, it is a good practice to check whether anybody from the environment you work in, shows excessive interest in your activity on the computer.
Why is it so important? One of the system authentication methods is to log in with a digital signature. This is a typical example of "something-you-know-and-something-you-have" two-factor authentication. "Something you have" is a private key embedded in the USB cryptographic device or a smart card while "something you know" is your USB device/card PIN code. It is not easy to guess a PIN code as long as it is not trivial. The situation changes when a stranger sees over your shoulder the keys you struck, or when malicious software has been installed on the computer you work on (keystroke logging). To know a PIN code does not mean to be able to log in to the system, as to do so one must have a private key embedded in a USB device/card.
Individual customers:
If you log in using a masked password, while logging in the system demands entering only selected characters from the password, what lowers, but does not eliminate the risk of cracking the password. Still, logging into the system does not mean a possibility to carry out any operations that require authorization with a code sent in the form of an SMS message. One code authorizes one transaction only.
Companies:
If you log in using a masked password and SMS codes, while logging in the system demands entering only selected characters from the password, what lowers, but does not eliminate the risk of cracking the password. Then the system will request an additional authorization for the operation with an SMS code, delivered to a predefined telephone number. Still, logging into the system does not mean a possibility to carry out any operations that require authorization with a code sent in the form of an SMS message. One code authorizes one transaction only.
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3.3 Check the website address, check whether the SSL protocol is used
Enter the electronic banking website by typing its full address or use the service link at the bank's websites. Do not use any reference links in electronic messages, or other websites, unless you trust them entirely.
Always check whether the address of the website you've found yourself at is https://planet.bgzbnpparibas.pl.
Please verify also whether the connection is initiated using the SSL protocol - in this situation, the address starts with https://. Additionally, web browsers notify about the fact that the initiated connection is a secure one - e.g. through placing a padlock icon on the status bar or through the change of the address bar color.

Why is it so important? One of password stealing techniques is to provide the website that appears identical to the bank's website. To encourage you to visit that website, you may receive emails in which you will be requested to log in under the provided address to verify the data. The address provided in such emails can be very similar to the genuine address, and so many people may be easily misled in this way. Having the custom to check the website address, you may prevent such fraud attempts.
If data are sent through an unencrypted connection (without using the SSL protocol) it can be intercepted while being sent over the Internet. This is the reason why verification whether the SSL protocol is used is so essential.
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3.4 Check the server certificate
The certificate confirms the authenticity of the server with which the connection is initiated. The web browser supports you in the process of the certificate verification checking whether it is valid, whether it has been issued by a trusted certification authority and whether it has not been canceled. To have an additional confidence, you should also verify whether:
  • the certificate has been issued for planet.bgzbnpparibas.pl,
  • certificate validity has not ended,
  • the certificate has been issued by VeriSign.
VeriSign is recognized by web browsers as a trusted certification authority. Therefore, any information about problems with verification of the certificate correctness shall arouse your concern. To verify the certificate, click the padlock icon that should appear after entering the Pl@net address to the browser. Such an icon always appears when you access encrypted websites i.e. starting with https://
In Internet Explorer 6 the yellow padlock icon appears on the right bottom, on the status bar (if the status bar is not visible, select Status Bar option from View menu), and in Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9 on the right of the address field.

       

After clicking the padlock icon, a window with certificate information will appear.

In Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or 5.0, site identity can be verified by using so-called site identity button. This button is located in the address bar, on its left side, next to the web address. When viewing a website, the site identity button will display in one of three colours: grey, blue or green. When the site identity button is green, it means that this site displays fully verified information on its owner identity, and the connection with it is encrypted.



After clicking on the site identity button, information on the site certificate is displayed.

Why is it so important? Certificate issuance does not require any specialist equipment or software. Anybody may issue on its own a certificate for any domain. In relation to substitution of the website address you may encounter a situation when you connect with a server of a name very similar or even identical to the name of this server, with which you wanted to connect ; you use a encrypted connection, however, it is not this server, but server provided by someone who wants to steal your money. Only verification of the certificate correctness enables you to check whether the server is authentic.
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3.5 Do not share your keys
If you use a digital signature option to log in and to authorize transactions, please remember that the Bank does not need your private keys - you are the only person who should have access to such keys. You will never be asked by the Bank for your USB cryptographic device, smart card or PIN code. Your private key is only used to log in and to confirm your actions in a transaction service (i.e. to authorize transactions). Never leave your USB cryptographic device or a card unattended, avoid using trivial PIN codes and try not to write down the codes. If you must write down your PIN code, do not keep it together with your USB device or card.
Why is it so important? A private key allows you to log into the electronic banking system and authorize operations performed in the system. If somebody has your private key, he/ she could try to carry out operations on your behalf.
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3.6 Do not share your logging password
Individual customers:
If you log in using a masked password, while logging you have to enter only some characters from your password. Remember that the bank never needs your entire password, except for a case of changing it to the new password. The password (in a masked form) is only used while logging into the electronic banking system, nowhere else in the system, nor outside the system, it is required.
Companies:
If you log in using a masked password and SMS codes, while logging you have to enter only some characters from your password. Remember that the bank never needs your entire password, except for a case of changing it to the new password. The password (in a masked form) is only used while logging into the electronic banking system, nowhere else in the system, nor outside the system, it is required.

Why is it so important? It happens that frauds ask the bank customers to enter their passwords for ostensible verification. This way they acquire customer passwords which could be used to access the customer accounts.
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3.7 Check logging dates
After logging to the system, check the last logging dates, both the successful and unsuccessful attempts. If the dates are different from what you remember to be, this should arouse your concern. You can contact the bank to explain the doubts.
Why is it so important? If the last logging date is different from what you remember to be, it probably means that someone accessed your account. In such a situation you should contact the bank to explain the situation. Unsuccessful logging attempts unrelated to your actions may show that someone was trying to crack your password.
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3.8 Check the image
One of the website graphic features is the image, which you can customize. If the image displayed is not the one you have selected it may mean that the website you are reviewing is not the genuine bank's website. In such a case you should refrain from performing any operation until the doubts are dissolved.

Why is it so important? The digital certificate allows you to verify whether the connection has been initiated with the appropriate server. Certificate verification may be difficult, thus, to facilitate it, a customized image was added, which is easier to recognize. Remember, however, that the image verification should not be used instead of the server certificate's verification.
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3.9 Check what you sign
External operations carried out in the electronic banking service must be confirmed by you through appending an electronic signature or entering a code sent via text message (SMS). Always remember to check the data presented in the form for signing an instruction.
If you use the transaction authorisation method with SMS codes, before signing any instruction make sure that the operation details contained in the authorisation SMS code comply with the data you entered in the system.
If you use the transaction authorisation method with an electronic signature, before signing any instruction make sure that the operation details displayed when signing the instruction comply with the data you entered in the system.

Why is it so important? Signing of an instruction confirms all its parameters, including the amount and target account. In case of an infected computer, it may happen that the data entered at the beginning of transfer execution would be modified before sending to a signing component. Therefore, a repeated verification of data before confirming the instruction is so important.
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3.10 Log out from the service.
When you finish to use the electronic banking service, always log out from it through selecting an appropriate option. Although it is not necessary, you may also close all web browser windows. To be on the safe side, you can do it on public computers. Never leave a computer with an initiated session in the electronic banking system unattended.
Why is it so important? Logging into the service you initiate so called session. It ends in the moment you select logging out option, close a web browser or upon the lapse of a given inactive time limit. If the session is not closed, someone might use it to make operations on your bank account.
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4 What security measures are applied?

4.1 Logging into the system
In the user authentication process it is verified whether the person logging into the system is the person as whom he/she poses.
The Pl@net system supports two methods of authentication in the electronic banking service:

Individual customers:
  • Masked password
  • Electronic signature
Companies:
  • Masked password and SMS codes
  • Electronic signature
For a masked password the system displays a window, in which you should enter the missing characters on definite positions in the password. As a result, even if somebody spies on or intercepts a password, he/ she will not be able to use it in the next logging attempt as the next time the system will ask to enter other characters from the password.



Then (Companies) the system will display a form where you can find a field to enter a one-time SMS code delivered to a predefined telephone number.



Moreover, a separate SMS code is generated to each operation that requires authorisation.

For the second method - a digital signature, the system will prompt you to enter your PIN code for the USB cryptographic device/smart card and append your e-signature straight after.



Both methods ensure an appropriate security level provided that the rules of conduct discussed here are observed. You should also remember that the authentication method determines the manner of transaction authorization.
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4.1.1 Masked passwords
A masked password is a password, from which you must enter only password characters demanded by the system while logging. As a result, even if somebody spies on characters entered by you, he/ she will not get to know your entire password, but only its part. However, remember that if somebody will spy on you for a longer time, or there is a spying software operating on the computer you use for logging that records the characters entered, with time your entire password will be known. This is the reason why the password should be change from time to time, in particular, if it was used in a situation when somebody could spy it on or the computer used was not a reliable one.
The advantage of a masked password is that you don't have to carry with you an encrypting card or other carrier with your private key. It also doesn't require installation of any additional components on the computer you use.
The bank doesn't store the full form of your masked password. The only moment the password appears in the system in its full form is the process of its change. During this operation the system generates a definite number of masks, which will be next used in the process of the user authentication. For each of these masks an abbreviation of a corresponding password part is saved in the base. As a result when later the user authentication is performed, the system may verify whether he/ she entered a correct password, without a need to store the password in an open form in the base.
Remember that choosing a masked password as an authentication method simultaneously results in using SMS codes in the process of orders authorization.
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4.1.2 Authentication with keys (electronic signature)
Authentication method by e-signature is based on asymmetric cryptography (Public-key cryptography). In authentication process, the system verifies whether a person logging in has a valid private key and knows the PIN code securing a cryptographic device storing the key (smart card device).
A private key used in the authentication process may be stored on a smart card or an USB device.
An encrypting card is a plastic element of a credit card size with an embedded microprocessor. A private key is stored in the chip memory on the card, encrypting operations are carried out by the card microprocessor. An access to the keys stored on the card is protected with a PIN code, keys are generated on the card, a private key is never available outside the card.
USB cryptographic devices work in a similar way. An USB cryptographic device resembles a pen-drive. What differs an USB device from a smart card is that USB devices do not require an additional reader (you connect them directly to the computer). A private key, as in the case of a smart card, is saved in the on-chip memory.
Remember that in order to authenticate yourself in the system using keys you need to:
  • install on your computer components that execute the process (administrator rights may be required on a given computer),
  • also have a reader if you use an encrypting card,
  • carry an USB cryptographic device or a smart card which stores the keys.
Remember that choosing encrypting keys (electronic signature) as an authentication method simultaneously results in using an electronic signature in the process of orders authorization.
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4.1.3 Which authentication/authorization method to choose?
If you use only your own computer, have an encrypting card reader or you can buy it, you may choose logging with the use of keys stored on an encrypting card. Then you have to protect your card and its PIN code.
If you use several computers where you could install the components necessary to digitally sign in the Pl@net system, you may chose the e-signature option to authenticate, and use the USB cryptographic device as a data carrier. The key embedded in the USB cryptographic device, like in the case of a smart card, is secured with a PIN code.
If you use different computers, including such where you could not be able to install the components necessary to append an electronic signature, if you do not wish to carry a USB cryptographic device or a smart card and a card reader, but you always have your mobile phone with you, you may choose to use the masked password and SMS code options.
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4.2 Transaction authorization
Transaction authorization aims at confirming operations ordered by an authenticated user. This is an additional security measure that prevents anybody from withdrawing money from your account even if he/ she gets to know your logging password.
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4.2.1 Authorization with an electronic signature
If you use an electronic signature, on the basis of all elements of a transaction (that requires authorisation) a unique value (encryption shortcut) is calculated. The shortcut is signed using the user's private key and sent to a server. On the server's side the operation of calculating a encryption shortcut is repeated on the basis of transaction parameters received by the server, and then the consumer's signature under the shortcut received is verified. If the signature is correct, the transaction is executed.
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4.2.2 Authorization with SMS codes
If you use SMS codes, a separate password is used each time to confirm transactions that require authorisation. In typical implementations of this transaction authorization method a single-use code, which is not related to transaction parameters, is sent directly to the server along with other operation parameters. In the Pl@net system, to increase its security, the password is not sent to the server. Instead, an authorization code, which connects transaction parameters with a valid single-use password, is sent. An authorization code is calculated with the HMAC algorithm. The server verifies whether the code sent is correct, if it is a proper one, the transaction is executed.
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5 Notifications

It is possible to set notifications of security-related events in the Pl@net system:
  • Notifications about successful logging into the Pl@net system;
  • Notifications about unsuccessful attempt to log into the Pl@net system;
  • Notification about blocking the access to the system;
You may receive selected information in a form of a text message send to the mobile phone number you defined in the system or as an e-mail send to the e-mail address you indicated.
To set notifications, log into the system, select the "Other" tab, and then click on "Notifications". You will choose the notification manner at your own discretion.

Please note! If you received a notification, but you did not log into the system at a given moment, please contact Call Centre of Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas S.A. or any of our branches to explain any doubts.

E-mail notifications are free, whereas for each text message notification we charge a fee as per the binding Table of Commissions and Fees.
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