The revenge of NemID: Try again later

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Itst

So a few days ago I wrote (again) about the Danish nation-wide authentication system NemID and the problems associated with it. Perhaps in a bit too sarcastic tone.

I have just enabled the NemID for my Internet banking account. I find it a bit more convenient than the login system I used before. However, just after I had enabled it I wanted to login again and see if it worked again, — and it didn’t! I received the following error:

Der er opstået en teknisk fejl. Prøv igen senere. (Fejlkode: 999)

(Translation: A technical error has occured. Try again later. (Error code: 999)

999 is not one of those numbers I am familiar with… So I emailed the hotline of the bank, which returned an answer the next day suggesting I should try another operating system…

In the meantime media reported that is was yet another error of the NemID system. Other media reported later that it was an error in one of the two redundant servers. Oh that one.

So if the company behind NemID cannot keep the system running does that give an indication of their ability to handle the security of the system? Should we be worried that all our money on our banking account suddenly disappear due to cracking of the NemID system?

According to Palle H. Sørensen from the IT & Communication Agency we shouldn’t be worried: There is independent and critical revision of the system. This is taken care of through so-called OCES certificat policies. So what is this OCES? I google a bit. The first significant information I could find was from DanID, that is the company behind NemID. eeeh? Ok, so a bit later I found information at the agency.

If you go to the agency main web site you will find that it is presently experiencing technical problems (see screenshot). (Apparently the web server runs the Debian Lenny system. I had my problems with that too.) The error message suggest one should try again later. Now I get this try-again-later-deja-vu feeling.

So is there a pattern behind all these NemID problems? When I tweeted about the 999-problem Ole Palnatoke suggested I turned the screen around… ;-) Palle H. Sørensen’s newspaper article about OCES was printed next to an advertisement where the three last digits in a printed phone number was 656. They are getting close…

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One thought on “The revenge of NemID: Try again later

    Anonymous said:
    November 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    A bit more context: The reason why there was a problem with the website of the agency (itst.dk) was due to a SAN breakdown at the hosting provider "Rackhosting". Information in Danish: http://www.version2.dk/artikel/16894-san-nedbrud-ryster-hostingkunder-paa-8-doegn

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