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Can Ubuntu save online banking?
In fact, the CIO of the St. Mary, Florida-based regional bank would like to see all of his customers - both consumers and businesses - access online banking either from a dedicated machine or from a self-booting CD-ROM running Ubuntu Linux and Firefox.
The Ubuntu optionRecognizing that most consumers don't want to buy a separate computer for online banking, CNL is seriously considering making available free Ubuntu Linux bootable "live CD" discs in its branches and by mail. The discs would boot up Linux, run Firefox and be configured to go directly to CNL Bank's Web site. "Everything you need to do will be sandboxed within that CD," he says. That should protect customers from increasingly common drive-by downloads and other vectors for malicious code that may infect and lurk on PCs, waiting to steal the user account names, passwords and challenge questions normally required to access online banking.
A bootable CD works because it's isolated from the host PC environment. Malware on the host can't touch it - and any malware picked up when running from the CD-ROM goes away once the CD is ejected. "When you eject the CD you have removed everything off the machine," McLaughlin says.
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