Access to the Electra Client Program

printable version

Logical access to the program

The Electra Client Program can only be used by pre-registered users. The first users are registered by bank administrators on the Electra server. Further users can be added either at the bank's headquarters or in the client program with the signature of those having appropriate rights.

Each user must have a log-in password or a chip card to use the client program. When logging in locally, the log-in password or chip card is authenticated by the client program, while in the case of bank log-ins, authentication is performed by the Electra server. To use any of the client program functions, one must enter a correct log-in password, or connect his chip card and enter the appropriate PIN code. The program cannot be used if an incorrect log-in password is entered or inappropriate chip card data are provided. Following the third failed attempt to enter a correct log-in password, the system will ban the user. If the user tried to log in locally, the scope of the ban will be limited to the given program instance, while in the case of a failed bank log-in, the user will get banned from the entire Electra system, regardless of which client program instance or other channel (e.g. Internet Banking) the user wants to use for logging in later on. After successfully logging in into the Electra server users can lift local bans without requesting help from the bank, but they always need assistance if they want to lift an Electra server ban: in that case they must request an administrator's help. Lifting the ban on the bank's side requires the involvement of a bank administrator or one of the customer's employees authorized to sign on behalf of the company (customer-side administration).

Chip cards are protected with a PIN code independent from the Electra system and card functions become available only when the user has entered the correct PIN code. Although their settings may differ, cards generally allow three attempts to enter the correct PIN code. Following the third failed attempt, cards will be blocked, which means that they cannot be used from that time even if the correct PIN code is entered. The blocked status can be lifted by entering a so called administrator PIN code, followed by setting a new user PIN code. If the administrator PIN code also gets blocked, all data stored on the card will become unusable. In that case, the only thing to be done with the chip card will be its initialisation, which will also delete all the information stored on it.

Access to data

Each person registered in the system is assigned a unique user ID (userid) and each client program has a unique identifier (serial number). The bank's headquarters assigns every customer (company or legal entity) the identifier (serial number) of every client program it uses and also the persons (i.e. their user IDs) who can act on behalf of the customer. Only such users and programs can be used together for any given customer who and which have been assigned to each other at the headquarters. This approach guarantees that each person can access only those customers' data and client programs that the bank has previously approved for him. This client assignment mechanism of the Electra system allows the assignment of several users to one customer (e.g. a company's data are managed by more than one of its employees), several customers to one client program (e.g. a book-keeping company manages the data of several other companies using a single client program) or even different client programs to a single customer (banking data are managed at different sites of the company).

Each user must be assigned user rights on the Electra server. Currently, there are three different types of rights in the system: company rights, account rights and special rights. Company rights must be assigned to customers, account rights must be assigned on an account-by-account basis, and special rights must be assigned to either customers or user IDs, depending on the area of application. Any user can use the client program to manage only such data which he has the appropriate rights to access based on the relevant identifiers (customer code, account number, special identifier). UGIRO rights (for UGIRO identifiers), credit and deposit rights and function rights have been introduced in the Electra system as special rights. Function rights allow setting the types of operations (add, modify, delete, sign, submit, import, export, download from the bank's system) a user may perform in the system regardless of data type or content.

The rights discussed so far are all related to querying, viewing and using banking data. Apart from that, Electra also manages rights necessary for the execution of orders. While query and view rights are set using binary flags, the signatory rights used in the system are weighted. In this context weighting means that the strength of different users' company, account and special rights can be different. Weighted rights are described by Electra's scoring system. Scores are a quantified measurement system for rights: the higher a user's score is, the more his rights weigh. With Electra scores it is easy to describe the 4 eyes principle, and the primary and secondary signatories' system applied by large corporates. In order for the Electra server to accept an order for execution, the summary score of the rights assigned to the users who signed the order must reach a predefined threshold value. The system allows defining several thresholds to a single account based on amount limits, which must also be set on the Electra server. By default, the threshold value is 10 points for an unlimited amount. When the Electra server receives an order package, it will first verify the digital signatures added to the package. Then it will retrieve the rights scores of the user(s) who signed the package and compare their sum to the threshold score value required for validating the given package. An appropriately signed order can only be accepted if the sum of the rights scores reaches the predefined threshold value.

Customer-side administration also allows customers that, although in a limited form, they could also modify the rights of the users related to the company. The customer's users authorised to sign on behalf of the company can add new users (e.g. when there is a new entrant at the company), delete a user (e.g. when an employee leaves the company), and assign/modify account and special rights. Since customer-side administration is bound to a company right, it cannot be used to set or modify company rights.

Protection of the system against unauthorised programs

Following the installation of the Electra Client Program all functions thereof are disabled except for logging in into the bank's system, changing the passwords, and compiling, signing and submitting the new registration order. Following the first login, the Electra Client Program will receive the details and rights of the customers and users assigned to it, and then it must be set to generate a unique signature key for each of them (set up a registration order). The installation process is completed and the program becomes usable only when this registration order is sent in.

The client program contains a so called consistency file, which is created to protect the program and parameter components of the client program. The consistency file is encrypted and contains a list of the components, their creation date, size and checksum. These details allow the client program to detect any damage to or modification of its components.

Electra Client Programs can be upgraded in two ways: upgrades can be initiated either by the bank, using the Administrator program and based on appropriate rights, or from within the client program, by selecting more recent program versions available for download in the bank's system.

The Electra server allows disabling specific client programs. When a client program is disabled, no one (not even those who otherwise have the appropriate rights) can use it to log in.

Since the Electra Client Program has all information necessary to connect to the Electra server (e.g. TCP/IP address, router passwords), is set to use the appropriate protocol in the communication with the server, and its unique identifier was previously registered by the server, it will identify itself as an authenticated client program for the server.

 
 Related news:Related articles