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« March 14, 2004 - March 20, 2004 | Main | March 28, 2004 - April 3, 2004 »

March 27, 2004

Bank One a Bigger 'Phish' Target

Mark Skertic reports in the Chicago Tribune on recent phishing attacks against Bank One customers.

March 26, 2004

Generation Debt

Tina Tran reports on AzFamily.com on student credit card indebtedness.

SpoofGuard

Researchers at Stanford University have developed SpoofGuard, a browser-based toolbar to prevent successful phishing attacks.
SpoofGuard is a browser plug in that is compatible with Microsoft Internet Explore. SpoofGuard places a traffic light in your browser toolbar that turns from green to yellow to red as you navigate to a spoof site. If you try to enter sensitive information into a form from a spoof site, SpoofGuard will save your data and warn you. SpoofGuard warnings occur when alarm indicators reach a level that depends on parameters that are set by the user.

A white paper describing SpoofGuard is available for download.

Another Stanford effort is targeted at user tendencies to use a common password across multiple sites. Web Password Hashing provides a client side solution to hashing the user's password with the domain name of the web site to create a unique password specific to that site. A PowerPoint presentation on this technique is available for download.

Healthcare Debit Card Spending Expected to Triple

Quicken.com carries a Dow Jones news story on the rapid growth expected this year in spending on prepaid healthcare cards.

Costly Credit Card Tricks

Stephanie AuWerter writes in SmartMoney about credit card debt and current card issuer practices with respect to fees, adjusting interest rates, etc.
Does it seem as if you can trigger those penalties just by breathing these days? You aren't far off: Over the past few years, credit-card companies have become increasingly dependent on the fees they charge users. In 2001, fee income represented 28% of credit-card companies' total income, according to CardWeb.com. Over the past five years, this figure has increased by 172%.

US-CERT Alerts

The US National Cyber Alert System (US-CERT) is making its alerts available both by email and RSS subscriptions.

March 25, 2004

Phishing for Identity Information

Lisa Valentine reports in CIO Today on the phishing problem.

McDonald's Announces Alliances with MasterCard and Visa USA

McDonald's has announced an alliance with MasterCard and another alliance with Visa USA to bring cashless payment options to McDonald's restaurants in the US.

OTS Issues CEO Letter on Phishing Attacks

The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision recently sent out a letter to CEO's (PDF) of supervised institutions highlighting the risks of phishing attacks and e-mail scams.
A rapidly growing form of Internet fraud is a practice known as “phishing.” This fraud can lead to financial loss, identity theft, and loss of customer confidence in your institution. The purpose of this memorandum is to familiarize you with the characteristics of phishing, and to encourage you to implement safeguards that will reduce the likelihood of your institution’s customers becoming victims of this fraud.

Credit Counselers Under Scrutiny

Jennifer Bayot reports in the New York Times on abuses by credit counseling agencies. The Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations yesterday released a report (PDF) on the subject. READ MORE »

PayPal

Jane Larson writes in the Arizona Republic about PayPal and former PayPal executive Jack Selby. READ MORE »

March 24, 2004

Big Changes in Small Payments

James Maguire writes in Internet.com about micropayments.

Glenbrook Flash

The latest edition of Glenbrook's Flash newsletter is now available.

Avoiding ID Scams

Advice for consumers from Janet Rubenking of ABC News on how to avoid losses from identity theft.

Schlumberger to Spin Out Smart Card Subsidiary

The Financial Times reports that, as part of a refocusing effort, Schlumberger is planning to spin out its smart card subsidiary Axalto.

March 23, 2004

PayPal: Friend or Foe to Banks?

Jennifer Kingson reports in Wednesday's American Banker on eBay CEO Meg Whitman's Monday keynoteand an interview following at this week's NACHA Payments 2004 conference in Seattle.

Phishers Luring the Unwary

Saul Hansell reports in the New York Times on the phishing problem.
Phishing attacks are growing rapidly, impersonating Internet service providers, online merchants and banks. Government officials and private investigators say all signs point to gangs of organized criminals — most likely in Eastern Europe — as being behind many of the latest efforts.

GAO Reports on Technologies for Securing Federal Systems

Last week the General Accounting Office issued a report on cybersecurity technologies (PDF) appropriate for use in securing federal information systems.

US Senate Holds Hearings on Internet Fraud

The US Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing earlier today on the subject of Internet fraud affecting seniors. Several government and industry experts testified to the panel and transcripts of their testimony are available online along with an audio recording of the hearing.

Pay by Touch Acquires Intercept Payment Solutions

InterCept has announced the sale of its InterCept Payment Solutions business for a total of $53.5 million. IPS was sold to two buyers -- iBill being purchased separately with the remainder of IPS acquired by Pay by Touch for $30.5 million.

"Sender Permitted From" Anti-Spam Technique

Glenn Fleishman has an excellent article in the new issue of TidBITS on the "sender permitted from" anti-spam technique currently being developed.

iBill's New Buyer?

Seth Lubove reports in Forbes on InterCept's sale of iBill. A company press release on the sale is available online.

March 22, 2004

Digital Certificates in Korea

An interesting story from the Korea Times about the use of digital certificates in Korea. It turns out they're about to start charging users fees for these certificates.

Phisher Caught

Reuters is reporting that the US Government has arrested a Texas man and charged him with using false emails to "phish" for personal information. More details on the case against accused phisher Zachary Keith Hill are available on the FTC's web site.

In addition, the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice has just published a Special Report on Phishing (pdf).

BitPass CEO Interview

nPost.com has posted an interview with Kurt Huang, CEO of micropayment provider BitPass.

NACHA to Institute Network Return Entry Fees

NACHA has announced that its board has approved in concept charging a new fee that would be automatically assessed to originating depository financial institutions (ODFI) for every ACH payment that is returned for unauthorized reasons, and for every WEB and TEL payment returned for administrative reasons.

New Phishing Attacks

Cyota announced this morning that it has begun seen more sophisticated phishing attacks being launched against financial institutions. These new attacks use multiple spoofed web sites -- making it more difficult for financial institutions to get the rogue sites shut down.

NACHA Reports 2003 Volumes

NACHA this morning announced its volumes of ACH transactions processed during 2003. A total of over 10 billion ACH payments were processed during 2003 -- growing 12 percent over the prior year -- including over 1.3 billion e-check transactions.

Checkfree and NetDeposit Link Up

Checkfree and NetDeposit have announced a teaming arrangement to provide corporate billers and remittance processors with a comprehensive, electronic check processing solution for accounts receivable conversion (ARC) and truncation of all lockbox checks.

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