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Identity and Authentication Services
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vipblog | 05 May 2008 | 0 comments

By Yohai Einav, Senior Fraud Analyst

I have six friends that serve me true
Their names are Why and What and When
and How and Where and Who.
-- Rudyard Kipling

Why quote Kipling in an online identity blog? According to all his biographies, Kipling was never a victim of identity theft, nor did he ever write a blog.

But Kipling knew something about the 6 W's, something that we, in the security industry, often forget: starting with the "Why."

Have you noticed the phenomenon: every discussion about identity theft, security and online fraud - starts with the How and What questions:

"How do fraudsters attack banks?"
"What technologies are fraudsters using?"
"What is the damage to customers?"
"What can we do to protect ourselves?"

All good questions. But, the first thing we should ask is "why?"

"Why am I being attacked?"
"Why...

vipmobile | 02 May 2008 | 0 comments

We had a little fun with a whiteboard, magnets, some goofy voices and a video camera. Take a look at the premiere of "How VeriSign Identity Protection Keeps George Happy and Safe Online".

vipmobile | 07 Apr 2008 | 0 comments

Say you've got a web application that you develop, and you want to provide your users a stronger form of authentication beyond a simple username and password. Or your users have been asking about two factor authentication, but actually implementing it never moves up on the priority list because your boss thinks it's too complicated, will require months of coding, and a giant new server farm to handle the extra authentication. Or you've got a PayPal Security Key or VIP Security Card and want to enable your own site to use it.

Welcome to the VIP Developer Test Drive!

Today we announced that we're making the API to the VIP Authentication Service freely available to developers to try out on...

vijai | 02 Apr 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Vijai Shankar, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at VeriSign, Inc.

I posted earlier today about the difficulty in remembering passwords, security questions, our daily tasks etc. and mentioning consumers to ask organizations to introduce secure, yet painless authentication methods. Here's another incentive for organizations to make life easy yet secure for consumers at a lower cost. VeriSign is now offering up to 5,000 FREE CREDENTIALS to each organization joining the VeriSign Identity Protection Network by Sept 30, 2008. This is a great incentive for organizations looking to deploy strong or two-factor authentication and be a part of a Network enables consumers to use a single credential across multiple site. The timing is opportune. With quite a few...

vijai | 02 Apr 2008 | 1 comment

Posted by Vijai Shankar, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at VeriSign, Inc.

We are seeing more and more articles about the difficulty remembering username and passwords. To add to the list along with our other stuff to remember i.e. household chores, birthdays etc., we now have to remember the new trend of security questions along with username and passwords. I was having a problem logging into one of my student loan accounts, which not only had a username and password but a set of security questions in a PARTICULAR order. Phew, needless to say I was locked out and had to call in, listen to some crazy call center music and after 15 minutes of waiting, spoke to an agent to unlock my account.

I saw this article in The Wall Street Journal about the daunting task of managing passwords, a complicated system she came up with, aggravated by the added task to manage...

vipmobile | 01 Apr 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Kerry Loftus

I drove my 13-year-old and his friends to one of their activities recently (yes, I have a minivan) and their conversation was really interesting and eye opening. I quickly called my gal pals in Erie, PA to find out if they were hearing the same and got the affirmative so this is not just a 'valley' phenomena. All of our kids are online and many are using various email, IM and social networking applications. Did you know that they all know each other's usernames and passwords? If they don't know the password part, they can very quickly guess (I chimed in at one point and asked them if they knew anything about 'strong passwords'-- most of them replied that they just use 'password'!). They didn't really think protecting the information was important.

It's probably harmless to sign in as your friend on IM and send one of the girls in your class a provocative message, but couldn't that be the tip of the iceberg? What about online...

Tim Callan | 31 Mar 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Jen Gilburg

Last week a news headline from across the pond proclaimed:

"Abbey wary of two-factor authentication. Bank decides against password verification devices because customers consider them a hassle."

Turns out Abbey, a major retail bank in the UK, did a survey on strong authentication. Turns out that two-thirds of those surveyed did not want the "hassle" of two-factor authentication. Turns out those surveyed even poo-pooed challenge questions.

So Abbey decided to act on the survey results. They decided to do nothing. And they decided to shout it out for all (including the fraudsters) to hear!

I question which business schools their marketing folks graduated from.

I wonder too what context the survey questions were raised (perhaps a brief explanation of how two-factor authentication protects against...

Vicente | 21 Mar 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Vicente Silveira, Sr. Product Manager for VIP Fraud Detection Service

The never ending parade of consumer data leakage and the inevitable fraud that follows added another participant this week with the Hannaford incident. This time, the damage amounts to 4.2 million credit and debit cards being compromised. It is early to tell all the ramifications of this incident, but the unraveling already started with the first salvo of class-action lawsuits against Hannaford.

When I see something like this happen, I'm always left to wonder: what is the true cost of a fraud incident ?

Looking back to some of the high-water mark incidents of the past we can have some hints of what the direct cost involved may look like. Take...

Vicente | 12 Mar 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Vicente Silveira, Sr. Product Manager for VIP Fraud Detection Service

If you live in the UK, the answer would be a little over twenty thousand dollars (at current exchange rates) for the average adult internet user, a nice bounty for phishers, bot herders, malware coders and other cyber-criminals to go after.

This is based on highlights of a recent YouGov survey that estimates European Internet users are risking up to 1.6 trillion dollars by sharing personal and financial data with sites that are not adequately protected, with UK Internet users responding for a 731 billion chunk of the total amount.

What the research also suggests is that the ubiquity of social networking and other data sharing sites has increased dramatically the quantity and sensitivity of the information available on the web, with users volunteering more and more details in order to...

Tim Callan | 10 Mar 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Jen Gilburg, Director of Business Development for Identity and Authentication Solutions

I have a confession to make. I was almost a victim of fraud.

It involved Craig's List, the selling of a refrigerator, a random check for $3000 over the amount being sent for payment, the panic of the buyer for overpaying and them begging me to 'Western Union' them the erroneous overpayment once I cashed the check. I was even 'offered' $200 of the overpayment for my troubles.

I am embarrassed to admit- I got all the way to the bank. I actually deposited the check- then in a last minute of "this doesn't seem right" had them run the check and low and behold...

Truth is I was taken off guard, in the middle of a move, not really paying attention-- just happy to have the refrigerator out of my garage.

What is mortifying is that I have been working in security sector of high tech for the last 20 years. The fact I didn't immediately rip up the...