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Tor torpedoed! Tesco Bank app won't run with privacy tool installed

Money software blubs at the sight of onions

By Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2016

UK supermarket giant Tesco's mobile banking app refuses to run on handsets where the Tor app is also installed, it emerged this weekend.

Mainframe database admin Marcus Davage revealed the Tesco banking app tells users they must remove the Tor Project's anonymizing Android software to access the supermarket's money services.

Davage posted an image of the message, which advises that in order to use the Tesco app, the Tor Project's Orbot Android client has to not only be turned off but removed entirely from the device.

The issue appears to be related to security. Tesco's help site notes that the Android app checks for malware and other possible security risks (such as the phone being rooted) upon launching and, in this case, the Tor software triggers an alert.

The Tor Project makes two apps for Android, the aforementioned Orbot and the Orfox browser, both of which allow users to encrypt their data traffic using the Tor network. According to the Play Store, Orbot has been downloaded more than five million times by Android users.

Tesco could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. ®

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