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yohai | 10 Dec 2008 | 0 comments

By Yohai Einav, Senior Fraud Analyst

A deserted street, night, a frightened old lady hops towards a policeman who just left the bar.
Old lady: "Please officer, this e-mail is trying to phish me!"
She shows a laptop to the Policeman.
Old lady: "My grandson gave it to me for my birthday, and he warned me of such things. Now it is trying to phish me!"
Policeman: "Let me see this".
The Policeman looks at the screen. He sees a phishing email.
Policeman: "Lady, do you have any idea what this is? This is identity theft! Wait a second; I must report this to my superiors right away!"

The policeman talks into his walkie-talkie:
Policeman: "Jim, I want to report an identity theft on 8th and Houston.... Yes, an old lady again.... Yes, her grandson... no, I didn't get the IP..."
The policeman leans toward the old lady.
Policeman: "You are lucky to still have your...

vipmobile | 05 Dec 2008 | 0 comments

This just in from the Washington Post: CheckFree, a major online bill payment site with over 24 million customers, had their domain hijacked and redirected to a site that tried to install malicious software on users computers. This all happened because criminals stole the username and password for CheckFree's domain management account at Network Solutions.

Clearly the criminals who perpetrated this attack should be caught and prosecuted, but isn't it sad that such valuable assets are protected by just a simple username and password? If you run a website, your domain registrar has the keys to your online castle -- how could this not be protected by strong two-factor authentication?

vipblog | 24 Nov 2008 | 0 comments

Today PayPal launched mobile access for its Security Key. This means that along with the traditional token and credit card form factor, PayPal Security Key users can now get their one time password (OTP) texted to their mobile phone. This is very cool, especially if you're one of those people who use your cell phone for everything--phone, email, text, Internet, GPS, camera...and now you can use it to protect your accounts online.

The new SMS OTP for the PayPal Security Key is available to customers in the U.S., Australia, Austria, Canada and Germany. PayPal does not charge for the OTPs texted to mobile devices. To use the service, customers need a mobile device and wireless service set up to receive SMS text messages. It's that simple.

The PayPal Security Key is part of the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Network. As part of this network, consumers can use the OTPs to protect their accounts on a variety of financial services and e-commerce Web sites like eBay,...

vipblog | 29 Oct 2008 | 0 comments

Organizations around the world are deploying VeriSign® Identity Protection (VIP) services to stop fraudsters from tricking consumers into revealing sensitive private information. VeriSign Identity Protection service's one-time-passwords (OTP) are one element of a layered security approach. Other layers include Web site security brought by an Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate, fraud detection services to monitor anomalies on the back end, and consumer education.

The VeriSign Identity Protection Network allows consumers to use a single security device to authenticate...

vijai | 21 Oct 2008 | 0 comments

You may have read the news over the weekend that cyber thieves raided Sarkozy's bank account and began stealing small amounts of money frequently. This marks the second high-profile online account break-in in recent weeks where an e-criminal broke in through the user name and password security function (the Palin email hack was the other). Consumers need to take full responsibility and control of their online accounts by securing them with an added layer of security, beyond a username and password. With more and more consumers putting their identities online, this type of account break-in will continue if we continue to use simple usernames and passwords. One such way to strongly secure an online account is the use of one-time passwords, also referred to as two-factor authentication. Some banks have already started rolling such measures to their customers. The...

vipblog | 01 Oct 2008 | 0 comments

by Francis Castello, Product Manager, Identity and Authentication Services - APAC Region

According to recent research conducted by Datamonitor, around 27 per cent of 2000 respondents would never arrange any financial product online (ref. Aussies fear online fin services) . This percentage equates to around 4.2 million Australians.
The report noted that "Despite the introduction of more comprehensive security measures such as two factor authentication by the banks, there is still a significant proportion of consumers that does not use internet banking due to concerns about security,". According to Datamonitor financial services analyst Petter Ingemarsson, the issue boils down to "perceived security" rather than the actual security safety nets in place.

One group that represents a particular challenge in converting...

vipmobile | 19 Sep 2008 | 1 comment

The recent news about how Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account was hacked makes it clear as day that we need better security for web based email, and we need to close the giant loophole of "password reset". Web email often gets lumped into the bucket of "low value" accounts, so system designers pay little attention to the security of its authentication systems, but it often contains our most personal details. How many more high-profile account takeovers are we going to see before people take account security seriously? Come on folks, usernames and passwords just don't cut it anymore, and the problem isn't just limited to financial sites.

This incident also makes it abundantly clear that system designers need to take a holistic, layered approach to security....

vipblog | 02 Jul 2008 | 0 comments

We asked people on the streets of San Francisco about what they do online, how many passwords they have, and whether they think their personal information is safe.

"Any bill that I pay, other than my rent, I pay online"
"There's probably a lot of sites out there that have my personal information."
"Sometimes even with secure sites, hackers get through"

"Every time I use a credit card, I hope that's the only place it gets used."

Find out how VeriSign can help keep your online identity safe.

vipblog | 23 Jun 2008 | 0 comments

By Yohai Einav, VeriSign Senior Fraud Analyst

I was on my way to the airport, chatting with my cab driver. After I told him my overused joke about the peasant, the seigneur and the miraculous goat, he asked me for my profession. "Oh, fraud?", he said. "You know, I almost lost $7,000 to card fraud last year".

So the sanguine driver told me how his bank called him, warning him he had gone into overdraft. When he investigated this he found that his Visa card had recently been charged with $6,000. He called Visa, and they told him - "Sir, didn't you make two £1,500 transactions in London two weeks ago?"

No, he was never in London. No, he rarely uses the British Pound in Israel.

"Time out", I said. "Credit card issuers know that this could happen, and no way could these two transactions have passed without Visa noticing them". Firstly, the amounts were high, and secondly, the driver's card had a consistent pattern of transactions in only one...

Tim Callan | 19 Jun 2008 | 0 comments

Posted by Fran Rosch, VP of VeriSign Identity and Authentication Solutions

Living in California, I have tried to become as environmentally conscious as possible given the grim reports on climate change and rising sea levels. The major steps I have taken along with my family include installing brand new energy efficient appliances and significantly more insulation as part of our home remodel. We also implement smaller initiatives such as maximum recycling, eating organic and locally grown products and composting as much as possible. I have even given up coffee and my favorite Irish oatmeal because of the carbon required to ship these products such long distances. We also try (but usually fail) to restrict ourselves to bicycle-only transportation on weekends.

I know there is lots disagreement on whether these small actions actually make an impact but they do make us feel better. I also travel extensively for business which blows my personal carbon foot...