Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keeping Your RapidRez Number Safe... Not!

I went through a web application for enrolling in Budget's Fastbreak service not too long ago. Upon completing the process, they gave me a special number, called my "RapidRez" number. The final page displayed my RapidRez number and gave a warm and fuzzy message stating that "for security reasons" they won't send me an email confirmation with my number. The page looks like this:

Let's ignore the fact that the HTML is screwed up, which causes the "NTRA end" comment to be visible in Firefox. Inspection of the HTML source revealed something much more interesting and somewhat disturbing.
As you can see, my RapidRez number, which is so sensitive that Budget does not want to send it to me via email, was sent to a server called adfarm.mediaplex.com. I have no idea what if anything Mediaplex does with all the RapidRez numbers they are collecting. My personal opinion is that Budget should not tout the sensitive nature of these numbers and then proceed to send them to a third party. At least don't make it so obvious! If sensitive data needs to be sent to business partners, I would suggest doing it a different way, such as a nightly batch process over a secure channel.


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