Banks Badger Whiz Who Found Credit Card PIN Flaw
Industry demands Cambridge whiz remove thesis on security problems
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2010 3:44 AM CST
Cambridge wouldn't dream of censorship, says prof.   (?dterei)

(Newser) – British banks are badgering a top Cambridge math student whose doctoral thesis exposes security flaws in bank credit card payment systems. Omar Choudary reveals how easy it is to use "chip-and-PIN" credit cards (similar to a US bank debit card) without a PIN number. Now banks are complaining that he has essentially written a how-to manual for fraudsters, and they're demanding his thesis be removed from Cambridge's website. The thesis "oversteps the boundaries of what constitutes reasonable disclosure," said an industry spokeswoman.

Choudary's supervising professor is aghast at the very idea of censorship, notes the Independent. The industry seems to "think we might censor a student's thesis—which is lawful and already in the public domain—simply because a powerful interest group finds it inconvenient," he said. "Cambridge is the university of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin. Censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values."

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Dec 29, 2010 10:30 AM CST
Everyone should go and read the whole letter sent by Cambridge. Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.
Dec 28, 2010 6:06 PM CST
Ah... Wikileaks is catching on wonderfully; even the bankers are compelled to rage out of their own guilt.
Dec 28, 2010 4:28 PM CST
This is an ego contest. The banks are just mad that ONE guy figured out their system. Grow up bankers.