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Tesco

A 4-post collection

The Tesco hack – here’s how it (probably) happened

As prophesised, it has happened – Tesco has had a serious security incident. The prophecy, for new readers, was my piece on Lessons in website security anti-patterns by Tesco from a couple of years back. The catalyst for that post was this now infamous tweet in response to my pointing out that they had mixed content on an otherwise secure page: At the time, they had a whole raft of issues ranging from insecure cookies to security misconfiguration leaking internal implementation info to very dated frameworks to a whole bunch of password security craziness. They were also very quiet when it came to actually talking about and addressing the issues, much to the ire of customers who wanted to see...

Does Tesco’s facial recognition ad targeting cross “the creepy line”?

There’s this whole idea of “the creepy line” when it comes to the way our personal data is collected and reused without our permission. Eric Schmidt of Google fame reckons they get right up to it without crossing it or in other words, they push the boundaries as far as society will tolerate without getting too pissed off. Thing is though, how you define “creepy” is a very personal thing and it’s quite hard to put your finger on it. It’s a bit like that now very classic quote from Potter Stewart regarding hard-core porn: I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to...

Why XSS is serious business (and why Tesco needs to pay attention)

It was three weeks ago now that I wrote about Lessons in website security anti-patterns by Tesco where I pointed out a whole raft of basic, flawed practices which jeopardised the security and privacy of shoppers. These practices in and of themselves were (are) bad, but what really seemed to fire up a lot of people was Tesco’s response when I first flagged it with them: 1,883 retweets later, numerous media articles and a chorus of software and security professionals decrying Tesco’s approach to security (and customer service, for that matter) including one of the industry’s most preeminent security brains referring to their password security as “lousy”, and nothing has changed....

Lessons in website security anti-patterns by Tesco

Update, 14 Feb 2014: A year and a half on from writing this, Tesco has indeed suffered a serious security incident almost certainly as a result of some of the risks originally detailed here. Read more about it in The Tesco hack – here’s how it (probably) happened. Let me set the scene for this post by sharing a simple tweet from last night: Ok then, that’s about as many security misdemeanours as I reckon you can fit in 140 chars! For those wondering, yes, this is actually a verified account and it really is Tesco responding to me. I’ll come back to Tesco’s many interesting views on security a little later,...