Will Banks Pay $200,000 For a Re-Mastered Knoppix?

Knoppix Remastered for Phishing Prevention
Cybersource, an electronic payment services company, has announced a new product called “Coastguard” to help make accessing online banking sites more secure. Coastguard is basically a remastered Knoppix CD that has DNS servers and other settings are automatically configured to use secured bank servers. This is a departure from token-based systems that other companies use.

I like the fact that this company was able to recognize how useful Knoppix is, particularly for this kind of security. Of course, at a $250,000[AUD] price tag, it’s not exactly cheap. For the cost you do get complete access to the remastered CD with the ability to further tweak it, although I think you could probably pay a lot less for someone who knows Knoppix to create a remastered version just for you.

The deal is the bank buys the master and the hardware for burning copies of the CD. The disc can be customized by the bank. The CDs are distributed to customers who then boot the disc and connect directly to the bank. It certainly would be secure, but imposes a huge support burden I think. Knoppix is cool, but in the hands of civilians it can be a little difficult to use. Now if they have really stripped it down and made it plug-n-play, that would be good. I suspect that we won’t here about this, at the 200K+ price point again.