Bank of America – Authentication via SMS

The bank I use, Bank of America, added a neat new security feature. I haven’t been able to try it out1, but I think this is how it works:

  1. You log into your account on the web site and register your cell phone
  2. You specify which online banking features will require authentication via SMS
  3. Anytime you want to perform a sensitive transaction via the website (for example, transfer money) they send a random code to your cell phone via SMS
  4. In order to perform the transaction you must enter the random code into their web site (along with your standard user name, password and site key)
  5. The random code expires after 10 minutes, if it’s unused.

1 I haven’t been able to try it out because for some reason it requires Flash Player, I’m using 64-bit Linux, and for Adobe still hasn’t released a 64-bit version of Flash Player (for ANY operating system). I mean, WTF? x86-64 processors have been around for four years already. Linux has been running since about that time, and there have been x86-64 Windows products since 2005. I know this probably isn’t going to happen, but if they just open-sourced Flash Player the community would make it work on x86-64 for them.

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