Unless you’re completely ignorant of all things technical and interwebby (in which case, what the fuck are you doing reading this blog?), or you’ve been living under a rock or in a deep, dark cave somewhere, you’ve probably heard of the recent POODLE vulnerability.
And no, before any of you smartass bastards say anything, POODLE is *NOT* a particularly nasty venereal disease one contracts from having questionable relations with their four-legged friends… (Remember folks: It’s ok to love your pets, just don’t *LOVE* your pets…)
But seriously, I just had to share this email that I received from my financial institution. As many of you know, I’m not a fan of banks on a good day, but this message makes me shake my head and feel not a little bit of shame to admit that I work in the IT industry.
At first glance, the email appears both factual and well worded, but it is quite apparent that it was in no way filtered through any PR department worth their meager paychecks.
Imagine the reaction to this email from someone running a 5yr old PC with Windows XP…
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the email:
“Have you tried to log onto Hilltop National Bank’s website since this past Friday and gotten
the message, “This page can’t be displayed?”
The issue lies with the operating system and settings of your computer.
A new and very serious software attack, called POODLE (that harmless sounding acronym stands for
Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption), reared its head this past week.
Because of the immediacy and urgency of the situation, we acted very quickly to upgrade our systems to protect you – our
customer. Most banks across the country have done so, as well.
To protect your data, we have changed to a different encryption system when you visit our website.
So, if you’ve gotten the “Page can’t be displayed message,” and are perplexed, you simply need
to upgrade your operating system to at least Windows 7.
Windows 7 and higher can handle the more sophisticated encryption system.
Otherwise you’ll continue to be unable to connect.
You may need to get a new computer.
If you are currently running Windows 7 or higher, please continue reading for more tips.
Windows 7 or higher has the ability to use a different security protocol called TLS.
Click on the little ‘gear’ in the top right-hand corner of Internet Explorer and select
Next, select the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top and scroll all the way down.
Make sure that ‘Use SSL2.0’ & Use SSL 3.0’ are NOT checked.
Be sure to check “Use TLS 1.0,” “Use TLS 1.1” and “Use TLS 1.2” boxes.
Click ‘OK’ and close all Internet Explorer windows.
We would suggest checking your work computer, and also your personal computer at home, for
these settings to help stay protected.
Finally, you may find that you encounter the “This page can’t be displayed” message on other,
non-financial sites for the same reason as companies continue to upgrade their systems.
Hilltop National Bank
For additional information or questions,
please call us at (307) 265-2740 and ask for
So yeah, wow!
I hope this has been both entertaining and educational. I now return you to your productive day of watching kitten videos or surfing for porn on your work computers… Yes, we see you and we know what you’re doing… :p