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Washington Mutual Strengthens Online Banking Security; Washington Mutual Further Protects Its Online Users with Multi-Factor Authentication Solution

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), one of the nation's leading banks for consumers and small businesses, announced today that it will be adding a risk-based multi-factor authentication solution to provide enhanced security for its online banking users. As a result, Washington Mutual will continue to provide an online banking tool that is not only easy to use but also provides best-in-class authentication, fraud detection and prevention to its customers.

"Washington Mutual is once again taking a proactive approach to protecting our customers by securing their accounts and personal information with superior, flexible, cutting-edge technology. By doing so, Washington Mutual customers will continue to benefit from the convenience and ease of online banking with the utmost confidence," said Dave Cullinane, chief information security officer at Washington Mutual and International President of the Information Systems Security Association.

Washington Mutual's enhanced security will analyze every online login and transaction behind the scenes and score the potential risk based on a broad range of criteria, including the user's IP address, geographic location, prior transaction behaviors and much more. When a potential risky situation is detected, it can invoke additional authentication methods in real-time. In addition, because online fraud crosses international boundaries, WaMu is further protecting its customers by joining a real-time world-wide fraud detection network.

Of the many multi-factor authentication solutions analyzed, it was determined that Cyota's eSphinx offered one of the strongest authentication measures available with minimal impact to the comfortable and easy online experience that customers have come to expect from Washington Mutual.

"By proactively helping to protect their online channel against fraudulent activity, Cyota is helping Washington Mutual stay one step ahead of today's and tomorrow's online threats," said Naftali Bennett, Cyota's chief executive officer.

Washington Mutual's award-winning online banking site, wamu.com, is known for being among the fastest, most reliable, and easiest to use banking sites in the industry. Recognized by Keynote, Gomez, Watchfire and others, WaMu is committed to providing the best possible service whether customers call, click or come in.

Editor's Note: On Monday, Dec. 4, RSA Security and Cyota announced that the companies have signed an agreement for RSA Security to acquire Cyota with the transaction expected to close by the year's end.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and commercial clients. At Sept 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $333.62 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamunewsroom.com.

CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Libby Hutchinson, 206-461-2484

SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.