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Costco Citigroup is one of the many banks and financial services companies under the current Citigroup umbrella. As a branch of Citigroup, it offers its members the same financial products as other Citigroup branches. The differences between Costco Citigroup and other such institutions lies mainly on the membership benefits that the members receive. These are known as common login apps or common password apps and are usually free to apply for.

Many times when users encounter problems logging in to their accounts at Costco they are due to poorly made or corrupt passwords or accounts. Some of the most common problems include being unable to log in due to incorrect or missing information. In addition, some of the apps created by Costco Citigroup for its members have been found to be susceptible to hacking attacks from unidentified sources. A prime example of a common username used by Costco users is “asa”, which is the common string of characters used by hackers to access financial information. Security breaches such as these create many problems for the common user, since the user's identity is then compromised.

A number of internet service providers (ISPs) offer services that can be used by any other company, including Costco Citigroup. Some of these services include R SQUO, which is an application designed by the hackers for use with the username “asa”. R Squo is often used to attack internet accounts, since it has the prerequisite that the account is open and available to accept login requests from any source, including from computers that have already used the internet connection. Attackers then inject the malicious codes into the server settings of the targeted internet account. It is often necessary for a victim of this attack to reformat and reinstall the computer that has been compromised.

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On April 14th, 2011, Costco Citigroup announced the release of a new application called “My Facebook”, which provides a way for members to access their email, Facebook and MySpace accounts through their Costco Citigroup Android smartphone. The application does not utilize the Android SDK, instead utilizing an existing wrapper program developed by an online developer. The application does not use the Windows Server, instead connecting to the internet through the WiFi network of the targeted Costco client's mobile phone. The security risk posed by the security breach of this application is real, since it allows anyone who is logged in to the Costco Citigroup Facebook account to access this user's information.

The application was available for download only with a paid version of the Costco Citigroup smartphone, which costs $400. The free version of the application allowed users to perform basic functions, such as accessing the contact list, viewing the shopping cart and sending messages to friends. An investigation by IT specialists at the Information Security Management Association (ISMA) found that the security flaw in this application may allow attackers to access the financial data contained in the whatsapp and Facebook account users' logins. The association's investigation also found that the application provided methods for remote control of the affected smartphones, meaning that any numbers associated with the whatsapp account could be called on the phone to perform additional functions, including changing the PIN number used to log into the bank's website.

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An employee working at the Customer Service Department of Costco Citigroup accessed by the application via the VPN and gained unauthorized access to the account user's personal and financial information. The hackers used the information they obtained to make purchases from various e-commerce websites. The fraudulent transactions were recorded on the users' credit cards, which were used to make purchases. In some cases, the transactions occurred without the consumers authorizing the transactions or giving authorization for authorization. Multiple charges were made using the credit cards, and charges were routed to different vendors.

Costco Citigroup was one of five organizations in the United States identified in a recently released study as having weak IT systems. The application's security risk represented an additional vulnerability, since the application provided methods for controlling access to financial and other sensitive information. Costco's CIT banking infrastructure did not contain the commercial application's required SSLv3 security certificates. A certificate that could be used to identify the application and guarantee application security was not in place.

The SSLv3 SSL certificate would have helped prevent unauthorized access since it is one method of securing sensitive information, such as passwords. This means that a business must take steps to assure that its website has an application's appropriate level of security risk management. A company that processes credit card transactions should also work with its CIT banking authority to strengthen its application's security risk modeling. Costco's CIT banking authority is responsible for taking actions that help prevent and mitigate financial and personal information loss that can result from security risk.

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