Tesco to be investigated over privacy concerns

21 August 2012

tesco NEWThose exciting folks at The Information Commissioner's Office are going to investigate Tesco over the way they protect the privacy of their customers online.

The ICO probe comes on the back of claims from security experts who have a number of issues with the retail behemoth's website. Apparently, Tesco aren't storing your passwords properly, according to the magnificently monikered Troy Hunt. He revealed that he'd got an email from Tesco that contained his password in plain text, which means that they're probably not storing your passwords cryptographically.

There's also concerns that Tesco aren't using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) which makes customers more vulnerable to phishing attacks and data theft.

Troy said: "HTTP is stateless so the only (practical) way a state, such as being logged in, can be persisted is by passing cookies backwards and forwards between the browser and the website. Because they’re being sent over a HTTP connection, anyone who can watch the traffic can see [those] cookies. And copy them. And hijack your session."

Tesco are adamant that their security is "robust" and claims that they're never complacent ABOUT ANYTHING EVER. We'll just have to see how this unfurls. In the meantime, it might be worth changing your Tesco password to something you only use with them.

TOPICS:   Technology   High Street News   Privacy

7 comments

  • Dick
    > He revealed that he’d got an email from Tesco that contained his password in plain text, which means that they’re probably not storing your passwords cryptographically. It is simple to get an email from Tesco containing your password in plain text. If you email them with the subject my password is ILUVALDI, then they repeat the password in the autoreply. Then if you are a journalist you can say that Tesco send emails containing your password in plain text.
  • klingelton
    this doesnt' surprise me. me and the wife have a joint account. we only ever use it for DD payments. never do we use our cards associated with that account. The wife needed to pay off her credit card and used the joint account to do it. a couple of weeks later, we get a call from the card issuer stating that someone has attempted to use that card fraudulently. i exaggerate not. the ONLY time we ever used this card is with tesco.
  • Sicknote
    @klingelton Had my Barclaycard used to buy some flights less than an hour after using a 24 hour Tesco fuel station; you can imagine my surprise when Barclaycard called me to say they'd stopped that transaction whilst driving back from Dover at 3AM.
  • Dirty D.
    Don't worry, cash will change hands and this investigation will go away, same as local planning issues, cartel accusations and H&S issues etc etc.
  • james d.
    tesco online shopping uses HTTPS
  • darren
    And now I'm going to change my Tesco password! And another reason I no longer use WIFI on my home network and have instead switched backed to a hard-wired connection. Talking of privacy, I once ordered my shopping online and the delivery driver gave me the invoice for someone else's order! Neither of us noticed since my shop was correct. It was only later I noticed he'd given me someone else's details, address etc. Its this kind of incompetence which causes me to question online shopping. Also, I believe I have malware on the machine I am using currently, so the odds of a breach of security are ever increased.
  • klingelton
    @darren I don't think we're specifically talking about online shopping, but the myriad of other services that tesco offer and their security. I see people getting really cross with tesco at the moment.

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