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New Zealand 'Sees Green' When Banking Online at ASB

With Deployment of VeriSign Extended Validation SSL, ASB Helps Customers Remain One Step Ahead of Identity Thieves

Auckland, New Zealand, 8th May, 2008 - ASB, one of New Zealand's leading banks, is dedicated to remaining "one step ahead." Now ASB is making it easier for its online customers to stay one step ahead of phishers and identity thieves, thanks to advanced security solutions from VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the leading provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world.

To better shield customers who use its FastNet Classic online banking service, ASB is deploying VeriSign® Extended Validation (EV) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates. VeriSign EV SSL protection offers FastNet Classic customers using the latest high-security browsers immediate and visible assurance that they have reached a legitimate ASB Web page and not an impostor site created by identity thieves. Fraudulent banking sites and pages are a popular scam employed by e-criminals to illegally capture sensitive personal information, including passwords and credit card numbers.

When a Web site uses an EV SSL Certificate to identify itself, browsers including Internet Explorer 7 and the latest beta version of Firefox 3 display easily understood visual cues to provide tangible assurance of a site's authenticity. The address bar turns green, a lock icon appears next to the address, and a new field displays to the right of the URL in the browser. This field contains the name of the organisation that owns the site as well as the security provider that issued the certificate, such as VeriSign.

"We've always had our eyes fixed firmly on tomorrow, always aiming to be one step ahead with our product offerings and service," said Peter Muggleston, Acting Head of Technology and Operations at ASB. "Phishing schemes that surreptitiously lead consumers to fraudulent look-alike bank pages can threaten the trust that legitimate financial institutions like ASB build with their clients over many years. By providing FastNet Classic customers with immediate and recognisable verification that they have reached our Web site, we are preserving that bond. VeriSign EV SSL allows us to deliver not only the protection our customers demand, but the safe online banking experience they deserve."

"ASB has been a banking leader in New Zealand for more than 160 years, and today's announcement shows that its commitment to leadership continues," said Tim Callan, vice president of SSL product marketing at VeriSign. "Though e-criminals scheme every day to separate New Zealanders from their hard-earned money, ASB is working to ensure that FastNet Classic and its clients always remain one step ahead. With the recent launch of a new VeriSign Web site for New Zealand, we are delighted to bring EV SSL protection to ASB and to the New Zealand market."

As the most respected and trusted SSL authority on the Web, VeriSign is the EV SSL Certificate provider of choice for more than 3,000 Internet domains, representing greater than 75 percent of the entire EV SSL Certificate market worldwide. In fact, over 93 percent of the Fortune 500 - and the world's 40 largest banks - rely on some form of VeriSign SSL Certificate to meet their security needs. To learn more about VeriSign EV SSL, visit www.verisign.co.nz/ev-ssl


About ASB
ASB has a history of more than 160 years of service to New Zealanders, and is proud to be one of the country's leading banks. For the sixth consecutive year, ASB was rated New Zealand's No.1 major bank in terms of customer satisfaction in the highly respected University of Auckland survey of residential bank customers. It was also rated No.1 business bank for the fourth consecutive year in the University's business banking customer survey. Visit ASB at www.asb.co.nz

@Symantec