Big Brother Web site seriously secure: Ten

Questions have been raised as to whether Big Brother's Web site is truly secure despite claims by Network Ten that subscribers' credit card details weren't compromised.

Questions have been raised as to whether Big Brother's Web site is truly secure despite claims by Network Ten that subscribers' credit card details weren't compromised.

One IT professional and Big Brother member concerned about the possibility of his details falling into the wrong hands contacted ZDNet Australia today to express his displeasure.

When he registered his details between mid to late morning on Sunday, the Web site accepted his credit card information without an SSL certificate being displayed, he said.

"The SSL certificate on the Web site was for 'ten.com.au' but the Web site was different, therefore the certificate would not work properly without user interaction.

"When I discovered that the Web site was wrong, I tried contacting Channel 10, but the Web site only lists a phone number and they were not open to answer it last weekend. Afterwards, I found a posting on a Big Brother fan site that said it wasn't secure," Big Brother member skoogle told ZDNet Australia.

In an interview yesterday, Damian Smith, general manager of Digital Media at Ten said: "All credit card details are absolutely secure, and the Big Brother Web site employs industry-standard SSL protection for credit card entry....No data from credit cards is stored at any time on any TEN or BB07 servers."

Today, the broadcaster repeated claims that "nothing was compromised".

"The SSL certificate on the Big Brother Web site is issued in the name of ten.com.au for a simple reason: the credit card processing form is a framed Web site from ten.com.au served as a frame into the bigbrother.3mobile.com.au domain.

"As a result, the SSL certificate is issued in the name of ten.com.au; but at no time do any credit card details pass through ten.com.au, nor are those details stored at any time on a Ten or a Big Brother server. The payment transactions themselves, and all credit card details at all times are sent directly to the secure servers of Dialect Payment Technologies, who are the provider of credit card processing services.

"We apologise that the user in question was unable to contact us on the weekend, and we will make contact with him/her directly to discuss and if necessary rectify the situation to his or her satisfaction," a Network Ten spokesperson told ZDNet Australia.

Technical problems with the Big Brother Web site surfaced on Sunday, coinciding with the on-air launch of the 2007 season. The security holes exposed details such as users' names, e-mail addresses, postal addresses and mobile phone numbers to other subscribers.

Ten is offering a refund to its premium subscribers and an additional 17 days of access to premium content for members who had paid for the AU$7.95 fortnightly pass.

For new users, Ten is offering its premium season pass at a reduced rate of AU$36.95.

ZDNet Australia's Brett Winterford contributed to this report.

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