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Crimson Cash System Secure and Improving

Letters to the Editors

By Ted A. Mayer

To the editors:

With regards to the editorial dated April 23, Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) agrees with the Crimson Staff that the security of the Crimson Cash system, which HUDS operates, is of critical importance ( “Crimson Crash” ). Dining Services has been carefully evaluating the issues and is committed to continuing to provide secure and reliable services. The weaknesses in the system do theoretically exist but would be extremely hard to exploit, would amount to the expense of a coke or a purchase at the Coop before being discovered, and would not deplete the accounts of users. Furthermore, HUDS is working on making it even harder to exploit the system in the future.

There are measures in place to ensure the privacy and property of Crimson Cash users. HUDS has multiple checks and balances beyond those already built into the Blackboard Transaction System. Should Crimson Cash users be concerned that their credit card information is at risk, it is worth noting that none of that data exists within the Blackboard Transaction System. Additionally, Blackboard is constantly upgrading their system and has several measures underway to continue to do so.

Crimson Cash users should rest assured that their accounts are protected and guaranteed. Anyone with specific Crimson Cash account questions should contact Jeff Cuppett, Manager for Card Application Technologies, 496-6719.

TED A. MAYER

April 26, 2003

The writer is the executive director of Harvard University Dining Services.

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