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CAUTION: Free Online Banking Security Software

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CAUTION: Free Online Banking Security Software

Old 3rd Nov 2009, 08:09
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CAUTION: Free Online Banking Security Software

Online Banking Security Software

In light of my experience as provided below, I would strongly advise anyone to be very cautious about installing the additional security software Trusteer Rapport as provided free and encouraged by many different online banking organisations.

Additionally, if you have already installed this and you computer system is acting strange consider this as a possible cause.

My experience:
I would like to start by thanking all on here that provided suggestions on fixing my problem with “Printing Problems using IE7 with XP Pro”. (13 October 2009). Unfortunately, none of those worked.

Without listing a long list of what was done in attempting to rectify the problem, suffice to say that a very experienced professional computer repairer spent over two days attempting to repair it. Ultimately even after having completely removed IE and installed Firefox as the web browser, with the fault still remaining, it seemed to indicate an Operating System issue. All attempts at repairing this still drew a blank. The only remaining suggestion was a complete Hard Disk format and a complete re-installation of all the software etc. Prior to doing this he suggested communicating with Microsoft in case they were able to provide any suggestions.

I have to say that surprisingly Microsoft were absolutely excellent. For about a week I was provided each day with a particular aspect to attempt and report back, all by email. This still did not fix the problem. Microsoft then escalated this to their Microsoft Research department. They were able to link directly to my computer. For some four full afternoon/evening periods they were still unable to find the problem.

I then remembered that when connecting for online banking, I was always hit with ‘nag’ screens about installing some additional security software called Trusteer Rapport. As I wished to know something about this prior to installing it I always declined. However, one time I inadvertently had selected the incorrect option and this software was automatically installed. Immediately post this there was problems and in attempting to rectify these it wanted me to significantly alter the settings on my main internet security system, Kaspersky. I did not wish to do this. I therefore removed the Trusteer Rapport by use of the Add/Remove facility. My system then appeared to operate normally. I believed that this program had been removed.

I then considered if this could be an issue with my system. When looking at it in detail it did appear to have been totally removed, however there were a few possible anomalies that I felt needed investigating.

I contacted Trusteer and they were very unhelpful but persistence drew from them that aspects of their program are not always actually removed. For security reasons they were not prepared to tell me more, however they provided me with a Removal Tool Application.

This was used and my computer was finally returned to normal functionality.

I advised the professional computer repairer of the eventual cause. He was very interested and asked if he could have a copy of this removal tool. He has since advised me that he has gone back to the last three cases he has been working on that he has had problems resolving. All three provided very different symptoms, however all three had installed, through their different banks, this additional security program. Removal of Trusteer Rapport returned all three computers back to normal functionality. In fact one of these due to the persisting problem had actually reached the stage were a complete Hard Disk format had been done and a total fresh software installation had taken place. This system only stayed correctly running for two days before it starting responding in the same way as it had previously done. He was beginning to suspect a possible hardware issue. It did however transpire that this customer had gone to do online banking and this software had been installed again. Removal of it returned that system back to normal functionality.

Microsoft Research was also very interested in this and did say that there appears to be growing issues with this software.

Many different banks are advising installation of this software. With my experience I would most definitely advise caution. Once installed, if subsequently your system starts doing strange things consider that the cause may possibly be Trusteer Rapport.
BV
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 16:38
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C-N
 
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strange story there. what are those 'Many' banks?
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 16:45
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The problems will arise when the banks start to say look we've got this wonderful piece of security software, download it or we wont reimburse you if your account gets hacked and emptied.
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 19:51
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What are those many banks?

Quote by C-N:
strange story there. What are those many banks?


See The Banks We Work With | Trusteer

Alliance & Leicester
Amegy Bank
Carolina First Bank
Central Bank KY
CIBC
Coutts
Coventry Building Society
Huntington National Bank
ING DIRECT Canada
ING DIRECT USA
iTransfer
Mercantile Bank
National Bank of Arizona
NatWest
Nevada State Bank
President’s Choice Financial
PSECU
The Royal Bank of Scotland
ShareBuilder
SiebertNet
Silicon Valley Bank
Somerset Hills Bank
Ulster Bank
Vectra Bank
Zions Bank

I am sorry that you find this strange. All I am advising is that in the light of my experience I am suggesting caution.

As many on here had helped me trying to resolve my issues, I only thought it appropriate to advise firstly as to how my problem was finally resolved with what was causing it, and secondly to forearm others in case they start having strange problems.

BV
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Old 4th Nov 2009, 01:25
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Scary!


Did Microsoft offer any suggestions - like, use Trusteer but load this or that app alongside it?

Did Trusteer acknowledge that there is a problem with their software?
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Old 4th Nov 2009, 08:00
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Keef in answer to your questions………

What I was told by Microsoft Research was that they are formally aware that there is a definite conflict between Rapport and Internet Explorer 8. (anyone with IE7 and then upgrades to IE8 will have a problem). How much other information has been passed between Trusteer and Microsoft, I do not know. I certainly do get the impression that there is not much. Even Microsoft asked me for a copy of the Trusteer Rapport Removal Tool. This I sent to them.

Certainly there was a very distinct reluctance on the part of Trusteer to discuss anything with me, which considering it is a Security program is understandable. It was just that there was absolutely no discussion on their part. All that I was told was that should I require any assistance, I had to go through some convoluted method of extracting some encrypted ‘log files’ still remaining on my computer (even after using the Add/Remove Program utility from Control Panel had been used to remove the program). If I sent these to them they would advise me as to what changes I needed to make to my computer to ensure that their program worked. In other words, I had to change my computer to work their program, not that they should have a program that should work with most computers. In my opinion, a definite case of the ‘tail wagging the dog’.

In a similar manner, there is a known conflict between Rapport and Kaspersky. (The Internet Security program that I use). The solution provided by Trusteer is as follows:
Kaspersky IS2009 will detect Rapport as a keylogger, and we provide these instructions on how to configure Kaspersky IS2009 for use with Rapport:- Kaspersky IS 2009 | Trusteer
This ends with the following statement:
“Now you can try clicking the last check box. If this does not stop the messages, you can disable the "Keylogger Detection". This will completely disable Kaspersky's keylogger detection. However, please remember that Rapport protects you from keyloggers on protected web sites.”

Remember that these protected web sites being the list of sites that you have to manually provide and if you go to any other site that you have not provided you are therefore unprotected. Not a very good security function in my opinion.

What I was able to find out about Rapport was the following:
Rapport uses three layers to create the secure pipe inside the user’s desktop computer:
* The API Blocking Layer controls hundreds of operating system API calls and prevents malware from using these calls to access or tamper with the communication.
* The Data Encryption Layer encrypts sensitive information from the keyboard all the way to the network, and hides it from malware.
* The Delivery Confirmation Layer strongly identifies the Website that the user currently interacts with, and prevents the submission of sensitive information to fraudulent Websites.


It was for these reasons I did not complete the initial installation of Trusteer Rapport on my computer in the first instance. Personally I think that I will carry on just using Kaspersky, to disable keylogger detection, I do not know Trusteer enough to go for it. I read a report that casts a bad light on banks confusing customers with security products. If Kaspersky is offered by some banks that is really good enough to use as an argument. The potential conflicts with this software I think far outway its usefulness. Kaspersky has good detection ratings and a product that points the blame at other software (as Rapport does) as causing it to slow your PC makes me somewhat wary. I would say make your own decision, just remember there is no such thing as a magic bullet in the security world, and this is probably the case here as well.

VB
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Old 4th Nov 2009, 08:21
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Hmmm. It sounds to me like they expect you to have a computer dedicated only to online banking. That'll kill the concept soon enough.
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Old 4th Nov 2009, 15:14
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Volant Brique,

Many thanks for the information, your comprehensive posts are very useful.

SD
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Old 5th Nov 2009, 15:23
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Trusteer Support response

Hello Volant Brique,

As head of Trusteer technical support I would like to address all the issues with Rapport (and the level of support) you've described here, including:
- Printing problems
- Kaspersky issues
- Uninstall sequence and removal tool
- Product being installed automatically/inadvertently
- Your dissatisfaction from my team's response

Of course I would prefer to do this via email and not this forum. The ticket ID opened when you first turned to us would be ideal for me to have, your email address also good, and you can also email our support again at [email protected] and reference this forum and my name so that the shift will be sure to escalate it to me.

Thank you,
Nitsan
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Old 5th Nov 2009, 21:24
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And as you can imagine Volant Brique, we would all appreciate a report on the outcome of the response you obtain as a result of the above post.

P.P.
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Old 5th Nov 2009, 23:34
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Indeed. Please do keep us informed.
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Old 12th Nov 2009, 05:04
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Update as Requested

As there has been a request placed on this forum that I keep this forum updated with any response that I may receive, this I am now doing.

After the posting on here by the head of Trusteer technical support for me to contact them, this I did providing both my full email details as well as telephone contact with the open offer to help them if they so wished.

The email response to this indicated to me that their intention was to address the issues with my computer interfacing with their program. Interestingly the series of questions put to me, were almost identical to the input I was trying to provide to their call centre operative when connected to it through my online banking organisation. I elaborated on this by explaining in detail to him that persistently throughout this conversation, their operative would not listen and kept on saying that the only thing to do was to send in the encrypted logs and await a reply. I kept on trying to fully explain all the problems that I had experienced and what course of actions I had taken to end up to this stage. To say this operative was totally uninterested would be an understatement. To say this operative was totally obstructive would be a better indication.

Within my initial offer of help, I had stated to them that I had not forwarded any logs as I would not be happy nor have any confidence in installing their program after my experience. As their response seemed to indicate that they now wished me to re-install their program and continue to use it, I therefore requested clarification about this with the question “is it that your expectation is for me to continue using your product? I do not wish to do so. If however, you would like to know my rationale in this decision I will clearly lay out my reasoning for this, should you so wish.”

This response was sent some 5 days ago and I was just beginning to suspect that I would receive no further response or communication from Trusteer. However, today I received an email from the Agent Team Lead at Trusteer stating that having reviewed my communication, that they would very much like to work with me. In the light of this I have responded to them with an offer to open a dialogue with them.

I will continue to keep this forum updated should you so wish.

VB
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Old 12th Nov 2009, 11:22
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Thanks VB, we look forward to reading your subsequent posts on this matter.

P.P.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 10:52
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Update as Requested

As this forum has specifically requested me to keep this forum updated, I am now doing this.

As I previously posted on here, I responded to the Agent Team Leader with the offer of opening a dialogue. They responded with an arranged time to have a telephone conversation. This has now taken place with the conversation lasting some 35 minutes.

Within this conversation I was able to explain fully as to how I had inadvertently corrupted my system by installing their program and then using the Windows Add/Remove facility to remove it. However, for whatever reason this had still continued to corrupt my system in certain unique operations. I have to say they were very receptive to hear what I had to say and I do believe that they fully appreciated my concerns. They have advised me that the program has been updated since I had installed it and they are now of the opinion that it should not happen again. They were also able to appreciate that I no longer wished to install it again after my experiences. I did make other suggestions to them that they will consider for future versions. The main one being for their program installation to review prior to installation the current software installed on the computer system and then advise the user that if the installation continues that they will have to make changes to their current system. Additionally, provide their own Removal Tool facility for their program.

I started this thread with the following opening paragraph:
“In light of my experience as provided below, I would strongly advise anyone to be very cautious about installing the additional security software Trusteer Rapport as provided free and encouraged by many different online banking organisations.”

I have to say that I still stand by this. I am NOT saying do NOT install this program. I just advice caution.

I would also highly recommend anyone considering installing this program, to research it first. It does not take much ‘googling’ to ascertain from many other professionals as well as many other different forum users that my problems are not that unique.

As a starting point, just review the Trusteer FAQs on their own website.

Examples:
Link: Frequently Asked Questions | Trusteer

Does Rapport store or send any information about me?
Rapport creates an encrypted signature of your credentials on your computer. This information cannot be used to retrieve your credentials and is used by Rapport to identify any unauthorized leakage of your credentials. Rapport sends anonymous reports about security events and internal errors to a central server. This information is used to improve the product and the policy. You can specifically instruct Rapport not to send out any information.

Comment: why does it not default to NOT sending information and then SPECIFICALLY ask you if it can? Unless you had been able to unearth this deep in the bowels of their website, you would not be aware of this.

If I lack any computer knowledge, can I still use Rapport?
Absolutely! Rapport is extremely easy to use. There is absolutely no technical background or process required, other than installing Rapport with a few mouse clicks. Rapport does not require configuration, does not change the way you work, does not alter browser behaviour, does not require anything from you, and unlike most conventional security solutions, does not ask you technical questions when it encounters a security threat. Rapport is the most powerful yet convenient security solution on the market.

Comment: I am not very technically competent with computers. However, I do have some experience and believe that I am at least one level up from the average non-technically competent computer user. Yet not only did I have problems but the professionals within Microsoft as well as their Research laboratory had problems.

Lastly consider the compatibility with other security software.

Link: Compatibility with other security software | Trusteer

It lists a total of 15 security software programmes that should not need any configuration changes.

This is followed by a total of 38 other security software programmes (many of the very commonly used types) that they then provide individual links that will require configuration changes. Some of these in my opinion are quite serious and could reduce the normal achieved security elements provided by them.

I do really question the different online banking organisations attempting to encourage or even force their customers to install this program. Whilst my online banking organisation, that caused all my problems in the first instance, did make you go through ‘nag’ screens to install this program, they no longer do that. They still allow an option should you so wish to install it. Whether or not this is as a result of my communication with them I do not know.

As Green Graphite previously posted on here:
“The problems will arise when the banks start to say look we've got this wonderful piece of security software, download it or we wont reimburse you if your account gets hacked and emptied.”

I would suggest that if your online banking organisation is in anyway attempting to force you to install this program, if you are so minded, I would recommend that you advise them as the reasons why you are not doing so, possibly highlighting Trusteers own website FAQ.

I hope that this follow up is of some benefit.

VB
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 11:56
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Cheers thanks for that follow up, def food for thought.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 19:45
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Yes, interesting indeed. Particularly for me as I installed the Trusteer software on the advice from Natwest a week or so before this thread started. I am running Vista 64bit.

So far I've had no problems.....so far.....
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 23:46
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I installed it 6 months ago again with advice from the Nat West Website.I am using AVG Antivirus,MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and SpyBot.on Windows XP Pro.These appear on the safe 15 list with no configuration required.I have found no problems in using the Trusteer Rapport software

ILS32
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Old 19th Nov 2009, 14:37
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Uninstall Tool

Hi,

There's a few mentions above of an Uninstall Tool.

Is there a link to this tool ?

I have previously had this software on my PC and if I recall correctly I uninstalled it via the Add / Remove programs feature of Windows, but would like to check it has really been fully uninstalled ?

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Old 20th Nov 2009, 15:50
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Uninstall Tool

Coconutty

If you care to PM me with your email address, I can attach the Rapport Safe Uninstall Tool for you. It is some 278Kb in size.

Alternatively, if it has not been changed, you may still obtain it by following the instructions here:

Uninstalling Rapport using the SafeUninstall Utility | Trusteer

Additionally to this, it is interesting to note that even after using the Add/Remove facility or even after using the Rapport Safe Uninstall Tool as actually provided by Trusteer, there are still remnants of the Rapport program left.

I asked Trusteer about this and I was told that it is some form of configuration files that they do not wish to remove in case if you ever decide to re-install their program, it will save you having to reconfigure any information that you may previously used.

I just did a ‘search’ for all aspects of Rapport or Trusteer and found them and then manually deleted them with a secure delete facility. I will be occasionally checking that they do not return. This being another aspect of their program that concerned me.

VB
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Old 21st Nov 2009, 19:33
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Thanks for the link VB....although I don't have any problems at the moment with it, I have saved this as one of my Favourites just in case.
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